Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2017 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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56 MAY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY LOU SOMOGYI F or the ninth time in its fencing history, and first time since 2011, Notre Dame won the combined National Collegiate Fencing Cham- pionships held March 23-26 at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in India- napolis. The men competed first March 23- 24 and edged Ohio State for the top spot at the end of their foil, epee and sabre events. Then March 25-26, the women, led by two individual national champi- ons, ran away with the meet. The top five combined men's and women's teams and their point totals were: Notre Dame (186 points), Ohio State (161), Columbia (152), Princeton (145) and Harvard (124). The 186 points were the most by the Fighting Irish in a title victory and the most for a winning team since Penn State's 191 in 2010. Winning individual national ti- tles for the women were Lee Kiefer (foil) and Francesca Russo (sabre). Kiefer made history as a four-time NCAA national champion, becoming only the third individual — man or woman — to achieve the distinction. Epeeist Amanda Sirico earned first- team All-America notice when she finished tied for third, while Sabrina Massialas was a second-team All- American by placing fifth. Among the men, Ariel Simmons earned first-team All-America acco- lades with a third-place tie in epee. In foil, Kristjan Archer (sixth) and Axel Kiefer (eighth) were second-team All-Americans. In sabre, Jonah Shain- berg (fifth) and Jonathan Fitzgerald (eighth) also earned second-team All- America honors. Head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia, who was an assistant coach on Janusz Bednarski's staff during the 2011 title run, captured his first national crown as the man in charge. "It show our kids we are moving forward in the right way," he said. "Winning will provide motivation to those that might head into the gym tomorrow. They will want to work hard to relive this feeling of jubila- tion with their teammates." Until 1990, the NCAA fencing titles were divided into separate catego- ries for men and women, with the Fighting Irish men capturing No. 1 in 1977, 1978 and 1986, while the women won it all in 1987. Since combining the two fencing programs, Notre Dame has won the national title in 1994, 2003, 2005, 2011 and now 2017. ✦ Fencing Captures Ninth National Title Football (11): 1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977 and 1988 In 10 other seasons, Notre Dame received some mention, highlighted by winning the 1964 MacArthur Bowl, presented by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. Notre Dame does not count those other 10 (including 1964) because either they are not consensus or are not recognized by the NCAA. Fencing (9): 1977, 1978, 1986, 1987, 1994, 2003, 2005, 2011 and 2017 Since 1979, the fencers have finished second 14 times, including five years in a row from 1996-2000. Women's Soccer (3): 1995, 2004 and 2010 Notre Dame also was the runner-up in 1994, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2008 — all to North Carolina. Men's Tennis (2): 1944 and 1959 The Irish were runner-up in 1992. Men's Soccer (1): 2013 At age 68, head coach Bobby Clark captured his first NCAA title. Women's Basketball (1): 2001 Notre Dame lost in the championship game in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, and in the semi- finals in 2013 to a Connecticut team it was 3-0 against during the regular season. Men's Cross Country (1): 1957 Head coach Alex Wilson's team won the title held in East Lansing, Mich. Men's Golf (1): 1944 The final piece to the 1943-44 school year that resulted in three national titles. Note: Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach George Keogan's team was retroactively de- clared the 1927 and 1936 national champs by the Helms Foundation, but that is not recognized by the NCAA. NOTRE DAME AND NO. 1 The Notre Dame men vaulted into first place the first two days, and the women finished the national title with a flourish the last two days. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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