ACC Fencing Annual Awards Announced


GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s and Women’s Fencing individual awards for the 2016-17 season were announced on Friday. The honors were voted on by the league’s four head coaches.

For men’s fencing, Notre Dame’s Ariel Simmons, Axel Kiefer, and Duke’s Pascual Di Tella were recognized. On the women’s side, Boston College’s Reneé Bichette, Notre Dame’s Lee Kiefer, and Francesca Russo garnered accolades. 

Duke’s Alex Beguinet and Notre Dame’s Gia Kvaratskhelia collected the coach honors.

Simmons, the ACC Men’s Fencer of the Year for Épée,  finished the regular season with a 36-23 record and an FSF of 97.9055, the best mark in the conference and 12th in the nation. The freshman from Bellaire, Texas, went 9-5 in pool play at the ACC Championship before defeating Duke’s Bryn Hammarberg and teammate Dylan French to claim the ACC individual title. 

Bichette, the Women’s Fencer of the Year for Épée, finished the regular season with a 45-20 record. The senior from Orlando, Florida, is the second straight Eagle to win the award after Olivia Adragna was recognized last year.

Kiefer, the Men’s Fencer of the Year for Foil for the second straight year, posted the top FSF value of 109.3167 in the conference this season, good for third in the nation, and finished the regular season with a 35-15 record. The sophomore from Versailles, Kentucky, completed pool play with a 12-3 record at the ACC Championship and finished as the runner-up. 

Returning to Notre Dame after taking a year off to train for the Rio Olympics, Kiefer was named Women’s Fencer of the Year for Foil after posting a perfect 31-0 record during the regular season and the nation’s top FSF value of 143.8289. At the ACC Championship, she went 15-0 in pool play before finishing in the title bout.  

Named the Men’s Fencer of the Year for Sabre, Duke’s Di Tella went 11-2 in the individual competition at the ACC Championship before defeating Notre Dame’s Jonah Shainberg in the title bout to capture the title. The junior from Vicente Lopez, Buneos Aires, finished the regular season with a 37-8 record and an FSF of 106.5074.

Russo, the Women’s Fencer of the year for Sabre, went 14-0 in pool play at the ACC Championship before defeating Duke’s Lindsay Sapienza to claim the ACC individual title. During the regular season, the junior from Wayne, New Jersey, was 37-16the the best FSF in the ACC and fourth best in the country.

Notre Dame’s Kvaratskhelia, the ACC Women’s Coach of the Year, led Notre Dame to its third straight ACC title and a No. 3 national ranking in the latest coaches poll. Under Beguinet, the Men’s Coach of the Year, Duke currently ranks No. 9 in the country and finished second in the team competition at the ACC Championship. 

2016-17 ACC Fencing Awards
Men’s Fencer of the Year for Épée: Ariel Simmons, Notre Dame
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Épée: Reneé Bichette, Boston College
Men’s Fencer of the Year for Foil: Axel Kiefer, Notre Dame
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Foil: Lee Kiefer, Notre Dame
Men’s Fencers of the Year for Sabre: Pascual Di Tella, Duke
Women’s Fencer of the Year for Sabre: Francesca Russo, Notre Dame 
Men’s Coach of the Year: Alex Beguinet, Duke
Women’s Coach of the Year: Gia Kvaratskhelia, Notre Dame