Notre Dame Athletics | April 12, 2019
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the first time, the University of Notre Dame fencing program has swept the Atlantic Coast Conference Fencer of the Year awards, with Irish fencers representing all six disciplines and head coach Gia Kvaratskhelia garnering Men's and Women's Coach of the Year honors, as voted on by the league's head coaches.
It is the third time Kvaratskhelia has won both the men's honor (2015, 2016, 2019) and the women's honor (2016, 2017, 2019).
Reigning two-time national champion and ACC gold medalist Nick Itkin was named the ACC Fencer of the Year for Men's Foil, while reigning ACC champion Malcolm Fields copped Fencer of the Year for Men's Sabre and sophomore and NCAA qualifier Stephen Ewart earned recognition as Fencer of the Year for Men's Epee. NCAA silver medalist Amanda Sirico was tabbed as the Fencer of the Year for Women's Epee for the second straight year, while ACC champions Amita Berthier and Kara Linder snagged Fencer of the Year for Women's Foil and Fencer of the Year for Women's Sabre honors, respectively.
Itkin won his second straight national title in men's foil in March, earning the No. 1 overall seed while adding 19 points to Notre Dame's team total at the National Collegiate Fencing Championships in Cleveland. After defeating Harvard's Geoffrey Tourette in the semifinal, he met teammate Axel Kiefer for the title, winning 15-6. It was a rematch of the pair's ACC title bout, which Itkin also won for the second consecutive year. The sophomore assembled a 31-7 record in dual matches this season, improving his career mark to 68-18.
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