For the second time in three years and seventh time in the program’s history, the Irish are champions of collegiate fencing.
The combined men’s and women’s team edged defending-champion Ohio State 173-171 to win in the four-day NCAA tournament held in Houston in March.
With the Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team winning the NCAA title last fall, this marks the third time the Irish have won two national championships in one year. The others were tennis and golf in 1943-44 and football and men’s fencing in 1977-78.
Notre Dame became the first team in history to win an NCAA fencing championship tourney without the full allotment of 12 qualifying to compete (the Irish qualified 11). The Irish women, ranked No. 1 entering the tournament, amassed a record-setting point total, and several individuals turn in gutsy performances. On the competition’s final day, sophomore sabre specialist Valerie Providenza, hospitalized with food poisoning two days earlier, went 9-0. And four-time All-American foilist Andrea Ament sprained her ankle on the first day of competition but managed to complete all her matches and finish seventh.
The Irish have now won the national fencing title three times since the men’s and women’s competitions were combined in 1994. The team also holds three men’s and one women’s individual team titles from earlier years.