Avery Zuck was one of four Irish fencers to reach 10 wins on the first day at the NCAA Championships, finishing 11-3 with a +31 indicator.

Men's And Women's Fencing Retain First Overall Rankings

March 20, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s and women’s fencing teams each remained atop their respective editions of the United States Fencing Coaches Association’s (USFCA) final polls of the 2010 season. The teams now head to Boston, Mass., for the 2010 NCAA Championships, which will be contested at the Gordon Track Center on March 25-28.

The men and women earned No. 1 overall rankings in the second poll of the 2010 season, which was released on Feb. 17. Prior to that, Penn State was ranked first on both the men’s and women’s sides.

After posting a 68-0 record and combining for the first undefeated regular season in 19 years, the Irish men and women captured the Midwest Fencing Conference Championship for the first time since 2002. Then at the NCAA Midwest Regional, Irish women’s sabreist Eileen Hassett (Beavertone, Ore.), women’s epeeist Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and men’s foilist Gerek Meinhardt (San Fransisco, Calif.) won gold medals to automatically qualify for the 2010 NCAA Championships.

All told, the Irish qualified the maximum 12 fencers for the upcoming championship. The trio of automatic qualifiers will be joined at the championships by men’s foilist Enzo Castellani (Keller, Texas), men’s epeeists James Kaull (Washinton, D.C.) and Greg Schoolcraft (San Jose, Calif.) as well as men’s sabreists Barron Nydam (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.) and Avery Zuck (Beaverton, Ore.). Joining Hassett and C. Hurley in the women’s field will be epeeist Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), foilists Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky.) and Darsie Malynn (Grapevine, Texas) and sabreist Sarah Borrmann.

At least one of the Irish fencing teams has now held sole possession of the top spot in nine of the past ten seasons (2001-06, 2008-10). Furthermore, the Notre Dame women now have been ranked number one in six of the past seven years (all but ’07).

As has become the custom on the Notre Dame campus, the traditional lighted #1 sign will remain atop Grace Hall, and a #1 flag will continue to fly outside the Irish athletic department offices at the Joyce Center.

Check back with UND.com for a complete Fighting Irish preview and notes package as the 2010 fencing championship approaches.

Men's USFCA Poll - 3/20/10Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (1)2. Penn State (2)3. Ohio State (3)4. Princeton (4)5. St. John's (NY) (5)6. Harvard (6)7. Pennsylvania (7)8. Duke (9)9. Yale (8)10. North Carolina (NR)
Others receiving votes -- Columbia, Brown, Sacred Heart, Air Force, UC-San Diego, NYU, Stanford, Wayne State (MI), Brandeis.
Women's USFCA Poll - 3/20/10Team (Previous rank in parenthesis)1. Notre Dame (1)2. Penn State (2)3. Princeton4. Northwestern5. St. John's (NY)6. Ohio State7. Columbia-Barnard8. Harvard9. Temple10. Pennsylvania
Others receiving votes -- Duke, Yale, North Carolina, Cornell. Brandeis, UC-San Diego, Brown, Stanford, Air Force, NYU, Boston College.

— ND —