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Notre Dame Fencing Leads ACC With 10 All-Academic Honorees

April 18, 2017

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced its picks for the 2017 All-Academic ACC Men’s and Women’s Fencing Teams, with 10 University of Notre Dame student-athletes copping recognition on their respective teams.

Four-time NCAA women’s foil champion Lee Kiefer (pre-professional studies), two-time All-American foilist Sabrina Massialas (sociology, environmental science), 2017 First-Team All-American epeeist Amanda Sirico (Design), two-time NCAA qualifying sabreuse Tara Hassett (marketing) and 2017 ACC Championship third-place sabreuse Claudia Kulmacz (management consulting) were honored on the women’s team. Notre Dame’s five selections to the women’s squad were the most of any school, followed by Duke with four.

For the men, freshman First-Team All-American and ACC Champion epeeist Ariel Simmons (First Year of Studies), two-time All-American foilist Axel Kiefer (pre-professional studies), two-time All-American sabreur Jonathan Fitzgerald (Arabic, peace studies), three-time All-American sabreur Jonah Shainberg (management consulting) and two-time All-American Virgile Collineau (economics) made up the Irish contingent. The five selections for the Irish were also the most of any conference team.

Four Irish honorees – Kulmacz, Collineau, Fitzgerald and Shainberg – are making their third appearance on the All-ACC Academic squads. Hassett, Lee Kiefer and Axel Kiefer are two-time all-academic team members. Lee Kiefer was also named the 2015 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

2016-17 All-ACC Academic Women’s Fencing Team
Renee Bichette, Sr., Boston College (Nursing)
Camille Esnault, So., Duke (Neuroscience )
Julia Lee, Sr., Duke (Public Policy)
Rita Somogyi, Sr., Duke (Chemistry)*
Rhiannon Harvey, So., Duke (Biology)
Jackie Litynski, Fr., North Carolina (Public Policy)
Lee Kiefer, Sr., Notre Dame (PreProfessional)
Sabrina Massialas, So., Notre Dame (Sociology, Environmental Science)
Tara Hassett, So., Notre Dame (Marketing)
Amanda Sirico, Jr., Notre Dame (Design)
Claudia Kulmacz, Jr., Notre Dame (Management Consulting)

2016-17 All-ACC Academic Men’s Fencing Team
Ethan Grab, Jr., Boston College (Economics)
Pascual Di Tella, Jr., Duke (Political Science & Philosophy)*
Jonathan Schwartzman, Fr., Duke (Undeclared)
Eoin Gronningsater, Fr., Duke (Undeclared)
Agoston Walter, Fr., Duke (Undeclared)
Jason Xu, So., North Carolina (Business Administration)
Ariel Simmons, Fr., Notre Dame (none)
Axel Kiefer, So., Notre Dame (PreProfessional)
Jonathan Fitzgerald, Jr., Notre Dame (Arabic, Peace Studies)
Jonah Shainberg, Jr., Notre Dame (Management Consulting)
Virgile Collineau, Sr., Notre Dame (Economics)

*ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.