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Penn State and Notre Dame Top CollegeFencing360.com Fencing Coaches Poll

03/05/2013, 5:30pm CST
By Peter LaFleur

Men – Penn State, Notre Dame, Harvard/St. John's, Princeton, Ohio State, Columbia, Penn, Duke & Stanford
Women – Notre Dame, Princeton, Columbia, Ohio State, St. John's, Penn State, Harvard, Northwestern, Temple & Penn

(scroll down for  full release & complete rankings, including all others receiving votes … )

The top teams in the respective CollegeFencing360.com Fencing Coaches Polls remain unchanged, with movement elsewhere in the top-10. The PENN STATE men – led by the elite foil duo of Miles Chamley-Watson and David Willette – now are a unanimous No. 1, after opening second in the initial 2013 poll (Jan. 22) and rising to the top spot in the season's second polling (early Feb.). The NOTRE DAME women – featuring a pair of 2012 U.S. Olympians (a distinction Chamley-Watson also holds) in 5th-year senior epeeist Courtney Hurley and freshman foilist Lee Kiefer – similarly remain in the top spot, after opening at No. 2 in the initial poll. The Irish women received seven of the 10 first-place votes and hold a relatively slim 147-142 margin over No. 2 Princeton (which was No. 1 in the first 2013 CF360 Coaches Poll).

Notre Dame remains the only fencing program with both of its squads ranked among the top-2. In fact, no other teams are among the top-4 in both polls (Princeton and St. John's each are top-5 in both the men's and women's polls). Combined voting points (men + women) for the top teams break down as follows: Notre Dame 277, Princeton 255, Penn State 247, Ohio State and St. John's 223, Columbia 214 and Harvard 204.

The biggest change in either poll has seen the Harvard men rise from seventh into a tie for third with St. John's (which moved up from fifth). The Crimson men had some subpar results earlier in the season but recently lived up to their tremendous talent base by winning the Ivy League Round-Robin Championships. The Notre Dame men remain in the No. 2 spot, while Princeton dropped from 3rd to 5th and Ohio State from 4th to 6th. 

The Columbia men slid back one spot to 7th while the University of Pennsylvania remains 8th. The Duke men (now 9th) and (10) Stanford flipped spots from the previous poll and are separated by only one voting point – as are Columbia and Penn. The Quakers lost the Ivy League title to Harvard on their final bout at the two-day event, in foil vs. the Crimson (Harvard's Jerry Chang edged his brother, Penn's Jason Chang, in a 5-4 thriller).

In the women's poll, Columbia (led by a talented foil group) has held the No. 3 spot throughout all three polls, while the Ohio State women similarly have been entrenched in the 4th spot. The St. John's women – led by 2012 NCAA foil champion Evgeniya Kirpicheva – have bumped up to the No. 5 position, swapping places with a (6) Penn State team that also features a former NCAA champion (epeeist Marg Guzzi, who won the NCAAs as a freshman back in 2010). There was a similar flip of spots between current No. 7 Harvard and (8) Northwestern, while (9) Temple and (10) Penn again round out the women's top-10.

The Duke women (despite fencing this season without the graduated three-time NCAA omen's saber champion Becca Ward) narrowly missed cracking the top-10, sitting one point behind Penn. Accordingly, the composition of the top-10 in each poll has remain unchanged throughout the three 2013 polls (same teams, with some different ordering).

The CF360 voting panel currently consists of 10 coaches spread across college fencing’s four regions, weighted in relation to the number of competing schools from each region. Accordingly, there are four coaches from the large Northeast Region, three from the Mid-Atlantic/South, two from the Midwest and one from the four-school West Region. Each voter submits a ballot listing a top-15 for both the men and women, with teams listed first receiving 15 points, etc. (for a maximum of 150 voting points).

(CollegeFencing360.com, now in its fifth full season of operation, provides an assortment of exclusive content to the fencing community. CF360 is part of CollegeSports360, LLC – a network of college athletics sites that includes affiliates CollegeBaseball360.com, CollegeSoccer360.com, CollegeSoftball360.com and hub site CollegeSports360.com).

 

CollegeFencing360 Coaches Poll #3 (March 5, 2013)

MEN  (first-place votes – PSU 10)
(school – voting points ... previous poll, 2/6  |  initial poll 1/22)
1. Penn State – 150 voting points … (1)  | (2)
2. Notre Dame – 130
 … (2)  |  (3)
t3. Harvard – 117 … (7)  |  (6)
t3. St. John’s – 117 … (5)  | (5)
5. Princeton – 113 … (3)  |  (4)
6. Ohio State – 110 … (4)  | (1)
7. Columbia – 91 … (6)  | (7)
8. Pennsylvania – 90 … (8)  |  (8)
9. Duke – 61 … (10)  |  (9)
10. Stanford – 60 … (9)  |  (10)
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – Sacred Heart 49, Yale 30, Brown 26, North Carolina 14, Air Force 13, 
UC San Diego 11, Brandeis 9, Johns Hopkins 6, MIT 2 and Stevens Tech 1.

Women (school – voting points ... previous poll, 2/6  |  initial poll 1/22)
(first-place votes – ND 7, PRIN 3)
1. Notre Dame – 147 voting points … (1)  | (2)
2. Princeton – 142 … (2)  |  (1)
3. Columbia – 123 … (3)  |  (3)
4. Ohio State – 113 … (4)  |  (4)
5. St. John’s – 110 … (6)  |  (6)
6. Penn State – 97 … (5)  |  (5)
7. Harvard – 87 … (8)  |  (8)
8. Northwestern – 85 … (7)  |  (7)
9. Temple – 78 … (9)  |  (9)
10. Pennsylvania – 53 … (10)  |  (10)
Also Receiving Votes – Duke 52, Cornell 36, Brown 27, Stanford 25, Sacred Heart 8, North Carolina 4, Wayne State 4, 
UC San Diego 3, Yale 3, Air Force 2 and Stevens Tech 1.

Please note that only the respective top-10 teams should be referenced as nationally ranked (others should be referenced as "receiving the xth-most votes").

Voting Panel – Michael Aufrichtig (Columbia), Alex Beguinet (Duke; men's poll only), Janusz Bednarski (Notre Dame), Zoltan Dudas (Princeton), Sydney Fadner (Boston College), Nikki Franke (Temple; votes on women's poll only), 
Emmanuil Kaidanov (Penn State), Josh Runyan (UC San Diego), Laurie Schiller (Northwestern), Bill Shipman (Brandeis) and Tom Vrabel (Sacred Heart).

Notes: coach Beguinet votes only on the men's poll and coach Franke votes only on the women’s poll; there are 10 voters for each poll – four from the Northeast region, three from the Mid-Atlantic/South, two from the Midwest and one from the West; the amount of voters per region (4-3-2-1) is in approximate ratio to the amount of schools in each region that sponsor varsity fencing – 18 in the Northeast, 13 in the Mid-Atlantic/South, 7 in the Midwest and 4 in the West ... seven of these schools sponsor only a varsity women's fencing team: CCNY, Cornell, Fairleigh Dickinson, Northwestern, Queens, Temple, Tufts and Wellesley).

 

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