Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 57 of 63

58 MAY 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED ND SPORTS BY LOU SOMOGYI I n 1977, Notre Dame captured its 10th consensus national champion- ship in football, and earlier that spring won its first such title in fencing. In the 40 years hence, the roles have reversed. Football has added one national title (1988) — and now fencing is all the way up to 10. During this year 's NCAA Cham- pionship held March 22-25 in State College, Pa., Notre Dame won the combined men's and women's fenc- ing national title for the second year in a row under head coach Gia Kvar- atskhelia. The Fighting Irish women took the stage the first two days and scored 95 points, with host Penn State next at 89, followed by Columbia (86), Ohio State (76) and Princeton (60). The Notre Dame men then ex- panded the lead the next two days with 90 more points, giving the team 185 total. Columbia finished a relatively distant second with 170, followed by Ohio State (147), Penn State (137) and Harvard (129). "We wanted to peak at the right moment, and the right moment only occurs one time," Kvaratskhe- lia said. "We really proved we were the superior team to everyone else here." The Notre Dame men and women had five All-Americans apiece — highlighted by freshman foilist Nick Itkin capturing an individual na- tional title. He became the school's first national champion in men's foil Fencing Repeats As National Champions Notre Dame Up To No. 6 In Directors' Cup After winning national titles in fencing and women's basketball, plus finishing as the national runner- up in hockey, Notre Dame elevated from No. 20 at the end of the fall sports season to No. 6 in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup competition. Through April 19 this year, 258 different schools had tallied points, with 100 the highest possible score for winning a national title in a team event. Point totals range on how far a team advances in the NCAA Championships in their respective sports. At the end of the fall, Notre Dame had 205 total points: 66 in football (final Associated Press ranking of No. 11), 64 in women's soccer, 50 in men's soccer and 25 in women's volleyball, all of which earned NCAA Tournament bids. In addition to the maximum 100 points in fencing and women's basketball, plus 90 in hockey, the indoor track and field season results contributed 43.5 points from the men and 16.5 from the women, while swimming produced 49.5 points from the men and 24 from the women. The top 10 through April 19 featured Stanford (977.50), Michigan (796.50), Penn State (778.75), Ohio State (739.0), North Carolina State (663.50), Notre Dame (628.50), Texas (612.50), Duke (587.0), Wisconsin (585.0) and USC (580.5). The final spring results won't be released until April 26 when men's and women's gymnastics finish. Notre Dame doesn't offer either of the sports, nor rifle, skiing or wrestling, also part of the winter sports totals. The Irish finished 23rd last year, but had a school-record three consecutive top-10 placements in 2013 (No. 9), 2014 — No. 3, the school's best showing ever — and 2015 (No. 10). — Lou Somogyi Notre Dame won the combined men's and women's fencing national title for the second year in a row under head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia, and now boasts 10 total championships in program history. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - May 2018