Avery Zuck and the Irish are tied for the top ranking in the USFCA Coaches' Poll.

Men's Fencing Ranked First, Women Second In USFCA Coaches' Poll

Jan. 23, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The first USFCA Coaches’ poll of the 2009 season has been released. The Irish men’s squad is tied atop the rankings with Penn State, while the women are ranked second. This is the first of three polls the USFCA will release, with the final poll to appear in the first week of March after the NCAA Regional Qualifiers.

The men’s and women’s polls feature the same four teams in the top-four positions. On the men’s side, Notre Dame and Penn State are followed by Ohio State in third and Columbia in fourth. The women’s poll showcases Penn State in first, Ohio State in third and Columbia-Barnard in fourth.

The men’s fencing team joins the women’s soccer and hockey teams as Irish squads ranked first in the nation during the 2008-09 academic year. Women’s soccer spent much of the season ranked first overall as they made a run to the national title game in Cary, N.C. The men’s hockey team, unbeaten in its last 20 games, has been ranked atop the polls since December 1, 2008.

Last season the Irish fencers debuted at number three on the men’s side and first on the women’s side. At the 2008 NCAA Championship, the Irish fell just short of their national title ambitions as they finished nine points behind Ohio State for second-place honors.

Notre Dame’s 2009 NCAA season gets underway tomorrow at the St. John’s Duals in Jamaica, N.Y. Notre Dame will square-off against #4 Columbia at 10:00 a.m., followed by bouts versus #9/RV St. John’s at 11:20 a.m. Then, on Sunday, January 25 the Irish will take part in the NYU Invitational at the Coles Sports Center in New York, N.Y. Notre Dame’s opponents for Sunday include Yale, #4 Columbia, Stevens Tech (men), #6 Northwestern (women), #9/RV St. John’s, NYU and #3 Ohio State.

Men’s USFCA Poll (1/23/09)

t1. Penn State

t1. Notre Dame

3. Ohio State

4. Columbia

5. Princeton

6. Pennsylvania

t7. Harvard

t7. Stanford

9. St John’s

t10. Duke

t10. North Carolina

Receiving Votes – NYU; Yale; Brandeis; Wayne State; Air Force; Drew; MIT; UC-San Diego; Boston College; Johns Hopkins; Brown; Vassar.

Women’s USFCA Poll (1/23/09)

1. Penn State

2. Notre Dame

3. Ohio State

4. Columbia-Barnard

5. Harvard

6. Northwestern

7. Princeton

8. Temple

9. Pennsylvania

10. Duke

Receiving Votes – St. John’s; Stanford; North Carolina; Brandeis; NYU; Cornell; Wayne State; UC-San Diego; Air Force; Brown; Drew; Yale.

— ND —