NCAA Fencing Championship Week -- #1 (tie) ND woman and
#4 Men are one of three teams to qualify the maximum 12 fencers, along with Ohio St.(W: #3; M- #1) and Columbia (W:T-#1; M -#3).
Hard to see a clear favorite between the 3 teams, but both OSU and Columbia have a combined ranking higher than ND, and have had success against ND this year.
OSU and ND were neck and neck at NCAA Midwestern Championship last week.
ND's top 6 woman were: 1,5,1,2,2,4
OSU's top 6 woman were:2,3,3,5,3,7
ND's top 6 men were:4,5,2,3,5,6
OSU's top 6 men were:1,2,1,4.1,3.
So we beat their woman and their men beat us, but it was very close.
ND also lost to Columbia in January on the east coast.
However, ND (despite losing 4 time individual NCAA champion Lee Kiefer) has a number of individual champions, a ton of experience and excellent leadership.
Woman will lead off and will have to have a strong showing -- probably need a significant lead to win NC.
Last year, 2017, men lead off and tied for 1st before woman dominated en rout to NC.
2016, woman lead off and finished 2nd, 2 points behind eventual NC Columbia. Men finished 6th, for a team 5th (1 point out of tie for 3rd that would have been officially 4th based on tie breakers).
2015, men lead off with a 6th and woman's 1st place brought the Irish to a tie for 2nd (3rd after tie breaker).
A strong start by the men last year propelled the team to a NC. Weaker starts the previous 2 years could not be overcome.
If ND starts strong again, they will have a great chance to repeat as NCs.