2018 CF360 Coaches Polls

• Annual Poll Summary Pages:  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014

• College Fencing Poll History (PDF Spreadsheets):  MEN  |  WOMEN

CF360 is the official home for the national college fencing poll and serves as both the sponsor and administrator of the poll. The official name of the rankings is the CollegeFencing360.com Fencing Coaches Poll (or CF360 Fencing Coaches Poll). There will be four polls released during the 2018 spring season. Links to poll historical archive are included below,. The 2018 polls are include below, in reverse chronological order (starting with the final poll, tabulated prior to the NCAA Championships.

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Note: ONLY 10 TEAMS ARE RANKED (rest are receiving votes; can reference as "received 12th-most votes" etc. but not #12).


March 20, 2018
CF360 FENCING COACHES POLL #4

Contact: Pete LaFleur (editor@collegefencing360.com)
(all content courtesy of College Fencing 360; please credit and link accordingly)

The OHIO STATE men's fencing team and the COLUMBIA women held down the No. 1 rankings in the final 2018 CF360 College Fencing Coaches Polls, which were compiled prior to the 2018 NCAA Fencing Championships (March 22–25). The OSU men impressively won all three weapon titles at the Midwest Regional, highlighted by finishing 1–2–3 in epee. The Columbia women – who had been tied with Notre Dame in the previous poll – excelled in all three weapons at the challenging Northeast Regional, most notably finishing 1–2–3 in foil (plus a 6th-place finish), along with producing the Regional sabre runner-up and 3rd-place finisher. The Lions added three top-6 finishers (3rd-4th-6th) in epee to round out their strong Regional showing. 

The DUKE men – who qualified five fencers (out of a max. six) for the 2018 NCAA Championship – bumped up one spot to No. 6, the highest ranking ever for a Duke men's or women's team. The Duke men were ranked No. 7 in the final 2011 poll and again in the previous 2018 poll. The highest ranking for the Duke women has been No. 8, in both the 2006 final poll and the 2008 final poll.

The PENN men joined Columbia, Notre Dame and Ohio State as the only men's teams with the max. six NCAA qualifiers. The Quakers moved up to No. 4 in the final 2018 poll, their highest ranking of the season.

The YALE women (five 2018 NCAA qualifiers), who were No. 10 in the final 2017 poll, have returned to the top-10 at No. 9, their highest ranking in 15 years. After being 10th in the initial 2010 poll, the Yale women did not return to the top-10 until the final 2017 poll. Prior to 2010, they had not been ranked since being 9th in the initial 2003 poll. The last time a Yale women's team was ranked higher than 9th was in the final 2002 poll (6th).

Here's a rundown (see below)  of the 2018 NCAA Fencing Champioonship entrants, with selection criteria including Regional finish (60%) and pre-Regional season strength factor (i.e. power ranking; 40%). For CF360's annual, in-depth analysis of the NCAA Fencing field, along with historical lists and notes, CLICK HERE.


2018 NCAA Fencing Championship Entrants:

12 – Columbia, Notre Dame & Ohio State (max. number of entrants; 2 per weapon)

10 – Harvard (only 1 men’s epee & 1 women’s foil)
Univ. of Pennsylvania (only 1 w-epee & 1 w-sabre)
Penn State (only 1 m-foil & 1 m-epee)

9 – Princeton (no w-foil & only 1 m-epee) 
St. Johns (no w-foil & only 1 m-foil)

8 – Yale (2 ME, 1 MF …  2 WF, 2 WS, 1 WE)

7 – Duke (2 MF, 2 ME, 1 MS … 2 WF)
Stanford (2 MS, 1 MF, 1 ME …  1 WF, 1 WS) 

6 – NYU (2 MF, 2 MS, 1 ME  1 ... WF)

5 – UC San Diego (1 MF, 1 ME … 2 WE, 1 WF)

4 – Air Force (1 MF, 1 MS … 1 WF, 1 WS) 
Northwestern* (2 WF, 1 WE, 1 WS)

3 – NJIT (1 MF, 1 ME ... 1 WE) and Temple* (1 WF, 2 WS)

2 – Cornell* (2 WF), Incarnate Word (1 MF, 1 ME) and Wayne State (1 MS, 1 WS)

1 –  Boston College (WE), Brown (WS), Fairleigh Dickinson* (WE), Johns Hopkins (ME), MIT (WE), 
North Carolina (WE) & Sacred Heart (ME)

* – these schools sponsor only women’s fencing varsity programs

notes: in addition to Columbia, ND & OSU, Penn also qualified 6 men’s fencers, as did Penn State women. 

FENCING POLL #1 HISTORY – The Notre Dame men have been top- ranked 17 times in their history, matching longtime rival Penn State (17) for the most times ranked No. 1. Other men's programs to hold down the top ranking – among 63 total men’s team’s ranked No. 1 dating back to the 2001 season – include Ohio State (now with 12), Columbia (11; all since 2014), Harvard (2), St. John's (2), Stanford (1) and U-Penn (1). These totals include three polls in which there were co-#1s.

The Notre Dame women have been ranked No. 1 in nearly half (28 of 57) of the women’s college fencing polls dating back to 2002. The Penn State women are a distant second, having been top-ranked nine times, followed by Princeton (8), Columbia (8; all over past five seasons), Ohio State (3), and St. John’s (3). These totals include two polls with co-#1s.

The annual college fencing coaches polls currently are determined by vote from 10 collegiate men’s fencing coaches and 10 from the women’s side. The poll is sponsored by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) and co-sponsored/administered by Pete LaFleur of CollegeFencing360.com (CF360). Updated polls will be released in late January/early February, late-Feb. and then finally in mid-March (prior to the 2018 NCAA Championships).

• Fencing Coaches Poll History (spreadsheets; 2001-18):  MEN  |  WOMEN

Updated 2018 CF360 Fencing Coaches Polls follow below (including all teams receiving votes). ...


CollegeFencing360 Coaches Polls #4 (March 20, 2018)

MEN  (first-place votes – Ohio State (7), Columbia (2), Notre Dame (1)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. polls)
1. Ohio State (17–4) – 147 voting pts … (#1 … #3 ... t2 initial poll)
2. Columbia (20–5) – 136 … (3 ... 4 ... t2)
3. Notre Dame (19–7) – 133 … (4 ... 2 ... 1)
4. Pennsylvania (26–10) – 114 … (6 ... 7 ... 7)
5. Harvard (17–2) – 112 … (2 ... 1 ... 5)
6. Duke (21–4) – 92 … (7 ... 9 ... 9)
7. Princeton (16–7) – 86 … (8 ... 6 ... 6)
8. St. John’s (11–9) – 79 … (9 ... 8 ... 8)
9. Penn State (18–9) – 74 … (5 ... 5 ... 4)
10. NYU (22–8) – 63 … (10 ... 10 ... [11th-most votes])

Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – Stanford (50; #10 in first 2018 poll), Yale (40), UC San Diego (22),  NJIT (16), Air Force (13), North Carolina (10), Incarnate Word (5), Brandeis (4) and Wayne State (3).


WOMEN  (first-place votes – Columbia 7, Notre Dame 3)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. poll)
1. Columbia (25–3) – 147 … (t-1 ... 2 ... 2)
2. Notre Dame (29–2) – 143 voting pts … (t-1 ... #1 ... #1 initial poll)
3. Ohio State (18–5) – 127 … (3 ... 4 ... 5)
4. Penn State (16–8) – 121 … (4 ... 3 ... 3)
5. Harvard (17–5) – 109 … (6 ... 6 ... 6)
6. Princeton (19–7) – 90 … (5 ... 5 ... 4)
7. Pennsylvania (27–9) – 79 … (7 ... 8 ... 9)
8. Northwestern (37–8) – 75 … (9 ... 9 ... 8)
9. Yale (16–7) – 67 ([13] … [13] … [13]) 
10. Temple (26–12) – 62 … (8 ... 7 ... 7)
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – St. John's (61; #10 in first 2018 poll), Duke (37; was 10th in 2018 polls #2 and #3), UC San Diego (30), Stanford (17), North Carolina (14), Cornell (10), Air Force (9), NJIT (1) and Wayne State (1).

Voting Panel – Michael Aufrichtig (Columbia), Alex Beguinet (Duke), Sydney Fadner (Boston College), Nikki Franke (Temple; votes on women's poll only), Wes Glon (Penn State), Gia Kvaratskhelia (Notre Dame), Andy Ma (Penn; votes on men’s poll only), Josh Runyan (UC San Diego), Zach Moss (Northwestern), Bill Shipman (Brandeis) and Bruce Gilman (Vassar).

Poll Notes: coach Ma votes only on the men’s poll and coach Franke votes only on the women’s poll; there typically 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 – 19 in the Northeast, 14 in the Mid-Atlantic/South, 7 in the Midwest and 5 in the West … 10 of these schools sponsor only a varsity women’s fencing team: CCNY, Cornell, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Post, Northwestern, Queens, Temple, Tufts, Wagner and Wellesley … the Wagner women began varsity fencing status in 2016-17.

• Fencing Coaches Poll History (spreadsheets; 2001-18):  MEN  |  WOMEN

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March 9, 2018   
CF360 FENCING COACHES POLL #3
       
Contact: Pete LaFleur (editor@collegefencing360.com)
(all content courtesy of College Fencing 360; please credit and link accordingly)


The OHIO STATE men's fencing team (17–4) has returned to the No. 1 ranking for the third time over the past two seasons, following the early-March update to the CF360 College Fencing Coaches Polls. The OSU men narrowly edged No. 2 Harvard (141 voting points to 139, out of a max. 150), which held the top ranking in the previous poll during early-February. The Columbia men (131; 205) are No. 3, followed by Notre Dame (127; 19–7), which had been No. 1 in the season's initial poll during late-January.

The NOTRE DAME women (29–2) – after  being a near-unanimous No. 1 in the first two polls of 2018 – now are tied with growing rival COLUMBIA (25–3) atop the current rankings. Those teams split a pair of matchups on the weekend of Jan. 20-21, with the Irish winning 14–13 at the St. John's Invitational while the Lions beat ND 17–10 at the Philadelphia Invitational. One week earlier in mid-January, the Columbia women had suffered their only two other losses of the season: 9–18 vs. Penn State and 13–14 vs. North Carolina (at the PSU Invitational). The ND women carried a 27–1 record into the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships (early-March, at UNC), where they suffered a 12–15 loss to Duke.

The DUKE men have risen to No. 7, matching the highest ranking ever for a Duke men's or women's team. The Duke men previously were ranked No. 7 in the final 2011 poll. The highest ranking for the Duke women has been No. 8, in both the 2006 final poll and the 2008 final poll.

The Notre Dame men have been top- ranked 17 times in their history, matching longtime rival Penn State (17) for the most times ranked No. 1. Other men's programs to hold down the top ranking – among 62 total men’s team’s ranked No. 1 dating back to the 2001 season – include Ohio State (11), Columbia (11; all since 2014), Harvard (2), St. John's (2), Stanford (1) and U-Penn (1). These totals include three polls in which there were co-#1s.

The Notre Dame women now have been ranked No. 1 in exactly half (28 of 56) of the women’s college fencing polls dating back to 2002. The Penn State women are a distant second, having been top-ranked nine times, followed by Princeton (8), Columbia (7; all over past five seasons), Ohio State (3), and St. John’s (3). These totals include two polls with co-#1s.

The annual college fencing coaches polls currently are determined by vote from 10 collegiate men’s fencing coaches and 10 from the women’s side. The poll is sponsored by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) and co-sponsored/administered by Pete LaFleur of CollegeFencing360.com (CF360). Updated polls will be released in late January/early February, late-Feb. and then finally in mid-March (prior to the 2018 NCAA Championships).


• Fencing Coaches Poll History (spreadsheets; 2001-18):  MEN  |  WOMEN


Updated 2018 CF360 Fencing Coaches Polls follow below (including all teams receiving votes) ...


CollegeFencing360 Coaches Polls #3 (March 9, 2018)
MEN  (first-place votes – Ohio State (4), Harvard (3), Columbia (2), Notre Dame (1)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. polls)
1. Ohio State (17–4) – 141 voting pts … (#3 ... t2 initial poll)
2. Harvard (17–2) – 139 … (1 … 5)
3. Columbia (20–5) – 131 … (4 ... t2)
4. Notre Dame (19–7) – 127 … (2 ... 1)
5. Penn State (18–9) – 101 … (5 ... 4)
6. Pennsylvania (26–10) – 93 … (7 ... 7)
7. Duke (21–4) – 92 … (9 ... 9)
8. Princeton (16–7) – 86 … (6 ... 6)
9. St. John’s (11–9) – 63 … (8 ... 8)
10. NYU (22–8) – 62 ... (10 ... [11th-most votes])
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – Stanford (51; #10 in first 2018 poll), Yale (34), North Carolina (29), NJIT (24), Brandeis (12), UC San Diego (9), Johns Hopkins (3), Air Force (2) and Brown (1).

WOMEN  (first-place votes – Notre Dame 5, Columbia 5)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. poll)
t-1. Notre Dame (29–2) – 144 voting pts … (#1 ... #1 initial poll)
t-1. Columbia (25–3) – 144 … (2 ... 2)
3. Ohio State (18–5) – 118 … (4 ... 5)
4. Penn State (16–8) – 116 … (3 ... 3)
5. Princeton (19–7) – 104 … (5 ... 4)
6. Harvard (17–5) – 95 … (6 ... 6)
7. Pennsylvania (27–9) – 92 … (8 ... 9)
8. Temple (26–12) – 82 … (7 ... 7)
9. Northwestern (37–8) – 79 ... (9 ... 8)
10. Duke (20–8) – 61 ... (10 ... [11th-most votes])
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – North Carolina (44), St. John's (36; #10 in first 2018 poll), Yale (24), Stanford (18), Cornell (15), UC San Diego (8), Stevens Tech (7), Boston College (5), NYU (3), Air Force (4) and Wellesley (1).

Voting Panel – Michael Aufrichtig (Columbia), Alex Beguinet (Duke), Sydney Fadner (Boston College), Nikki Franke (Temple; votes on women's poll only), Wes Glon (Penn State), Gia Kvaratskhelia (Notre Dame),  Andy Ma (Penn; votes on men’s poll only), Josh Runyan (UC San Diego), Zach Moss (Northwestern), Bill Shipman (Brandeis) and Bruce Gilman (Vassar).

Poll Notes: coach Ma votes only on the men’s poll and coach Franke votes only on the women’s poll; there typically 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 – 21 in the Northeast, 13 in the Mid-Atlantic/South, 7 in the Midwest and 5 in the West … 10 of these schools sponsor only a varsity women’s fencing team: CCNY, Cornell, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Post, Northwestern, Queens, Temple, Tufts, Wagner and Wellesley … the Wagner women began varsity fencing status in 2016-17.

• Fencing Coaches Poll History (spreadsheets; 2001-18):  MEN  |  WOMEN

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• • • •

Feb. 9, 2018 
CF360 FENCING COACHES POLL #2 –          
Contact: Pete LaFleur (editor@collegefencing360.com)
(all content courtesy of College Fencing 360; please credit and link accordingly)

The HARVARD University men's fencing team – boosted by a 5–0 run through a top-10 gauntlet at the annual St. John's Invitational – has ascended to the nation's No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2007, and only the second time in the 17-year history of the coaches poll. The Crimson men (10–1 overall in 2017-18 dual meets) narrowly edged previous No. 1 Notre Dame, in the current update of the CF360 College Fencing Coaches Polls, which are administered and sponsored by College Fencing 360. The NOTRE DAME women, now 27–1, have maintained their near-unanimous No. 1 position in that CF360 Coaches Poll, receiving eight of 10 first-place votes and 148 of the maximum 150 voting points.

The top four teams in the current men's poll are separated by only eight voting points: Harvard (137, out of max. 150), Notre Dame (134), Ohio State (132) and Columbia (129). Harvard had been No. 5 in the initial/previous poll, while Columbia and OSU were tied in the No. 2 position.

The HARVARD men – who will put their top ranking on the line this weekend at the Ivy League Championships – previously were No. 1 to open the 2007 season, on the heels of winning the 2006 NCAA Men's and Women's Combined Fencing Championship. That 2006 championship squad included NCAA men's epee champion Benji Ungar and sabre leader Tim Hagamen, who reached the 2006 NCAA semifinals (medal round). Foilist  Kai Itameri-Kinter (6th) and epeeist Julian Rose (10th) also posted top-12 NCAA finishes to earn All-America honors in 2006.

During the 2017 fall semester, the Harvard men went 4–1 at the Vassar Tradition Tournament, with the lone loss coming by a single bout, 13–14 vs. NYU (which has risen to #10 in the current poll). The Crimson men also defeated current No. 5 Penn State and a quality NJIT squad at Vassar, both by 19–8 scores. At the SJU Invitational in mid-January, the Harvard men eked out victories vs. five fellow top-10 squads, including 14–13 decisions vs. Columbia, Ohio State, Penn State and St. John's, plus a 15–12 win over Notre Dame. At the time, ND was #1, Columbia and OSU were co-#2s, PSU 4th and SJU 8th in the initial poll. 

Most recently, the Harvard men avenged their lone loss by flipping the 14–13 score vs. visiting NYU, on Feb. 4

During the 2017–18 season, the Notre Dame women now own 13 wins over teams ranked in the current or initial top-10: current No. 2 Columbia (14–13), current #3 Penn State (14–13), current #4 Ohio State (20–7; 15–12), current #5 Princeton (20–7; 17–10), current #6 Harvard (18–9), current #7 Temple (15–12), current #8 U-Penn (21–6; 15–12), current #9 Northwestern (17–10; 15–12) and St. John's (17–10; was #10 in initial poll). The lone loss for the Irish women came on Jan. 21 at the Philadelphia Invitational, 10–17 vs. growing rival Columbia.

First-place votes for the men were evenly distributed between Harvard, ND and OSU (with three each), plus one 1st-place vote for the Columbia men. The Columbia women received two 1st-place votes.  

The HARVARD men are led by veteran sabre standout Eli Dershwitz, the 2017 NCAA champion and a 2016 U.S. Olympian who went14–1 at the recent SJU Invitational (his lone loss came vs. friend/Zeta Fencing Club teammate Andrew Mackiewicz of PSU, the '15 & '16 NCAA champ). Foil appears to be the deepest weapon currently for the Harvard men, led by sophomore George Haglund, a 2017 All-American (7th at NCAAs) who went 9–6 at the 2017 SJU Invitational. Fellow sophomore foilist Duncan Rheingans-Yoo delivered an 11–4 record vs. the top-10 foes at SJU, while yet another member of that sophomore foil group, Matt Branman, was a 2017 NCAA participant (placed 17th).

Current Harvard sophomore Erwin Cal collected sabre All-America honors in 2017, after placing 12th at the NCAAs. Current junior epeeist Albert Chien also was a 2017 All-American, after an impressive 7th-place NCAA showing.

The Notre Dame men have been top- ranked 17 times in their history, matching longtime rival Penn State (17) for the most times ranked No. 1. Other men's programs to hold down the top ranking – among 61 total men’s team’s ranked No. 1 dating back to the 2001 season – include Columbia (11), Ohio State (10), Harvard (2), St. John's (2), Stanford (1) and U-Penn (1). These totals include three polls in which there were co-#1s.

The Notre Dame women have been ranked No. 1 in nearly half (27 of 55) of the women’s college fencing polls dating back to 2002. The Penn State women are a distant second, having been top-ranked nine times, followed by Princeton (8), Columbia (6; all over past four seasons), Ohio State (3), and St. John’s (3).

The annual college fencing coaches polls currently are determined by vote from 10 collegiate men’s fencing coaches and 10 from the women’s side. The poll is sponsored by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) and co-sponsored/administered by Pete LaFleur of CollegeFencing360.com (CF360). Updated polls will be released in late January/early February, late-Feb. and then finally in mid-March (prior to the 2018 NCAA Championships).


The 2018 CF360 Fencing Coaches Polls follow below (including all teams receiving votes). 


CollegeFencing360 Coaches Polls #2 (Feb. 9, 2018)
MEN  (first-place votes – Harvard (3), Notre Dame (3), Ohio State 3, Columbia 1)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. poll)
1. Harvard (10–1) – 137 voting pts … (#5)
2. Notre Dame (17–6) – 134 … (1)
3. Ohio State (16–3) – 132 … (t2)
4. Columbia (14–5) – 129 … (t2)
5. Penn State (12–6) – 113 … (4)
6. Princeton (9–4) – 96 … (6)
7. Pennsylvania (22–8) – 90 … (7)
8. St. John’s (9–7) – 77 … (8)
9. Duke (16–4) – 70 … (9)
10. NYU (18–9) – 57 ... [11th-most votes]

Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – Stanford (56; #10 in first 2018 poll), Yale (30), NJIT (27), North Carolina (25), Brandeis (12), UC San Diego (11), Stevens Tech (2), Air Force and Brown (1).


WOMEN  (first-place votes – Notre Dame 8, Columbia 2)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp.) – voting points … prev. poll)
1. Notre Dame (27–1) – 148 voting pts … (#1)
2. Columbia (17–3) – 139 … (2)
3. Penn State (12–6) – 116 … (3)
4. Ohio State (18–5) – 115 … (5)
5. Princeton (10–5) – 111 … (4)
6. Harvard (9–4) – 103 … (6)
7. Temple (22–8) – 90 … (7)
8. Pennsylvania (22–8) – 84 … (9)
9. Northwestern (38–9) – 79 ... (8)
10. Duke (15–6) – 49 ... [11th-most votes]
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – St. John's (42; #10 in first 2018 poll), North Carolina (39), Yale (35), Cornell and Stanford (15), Air Force (6), Boston College, UC San Diego and Stevens Tech (3), Brown (1).

Voting Panel – Michael Aufrichtig (Columbia), Alex Beguinet (Duke), Sydney Fadner (Boston College), Nikki Franke (Temple; votes on women's poll only), Wes Glon (Penn State), Gia Kvaratskhelia (Notre Dame), Andy Ma (Penn; votes on men’s poll only), Josh Runyan (UC San Diego), Zach Moss (Northwestern), Bill Shipman (Brandeis) and Bruce Gilman (Vassar).

Poll Notes: coach Ma votes only on the men’s poll and coach Franke votes only on the women’s poll; there typically 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 – 21 in the Northeast, 13 in the Mid-Atlantic/South, 7 in the Midwest and 5 in the West … 10 of these schools sponsor only a varsity women’s fencing team: CCNY, Cornell, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Post, Northwestern, Queens, Temple, Tufts, Wagner and Wellesley … the Wagner women began varsity fencing status in 2016-17.

_______________________________________________


• • • •

Jan. 19, 2018 
CF360 FENCING COACHES POLL #1          
Contact: Pete LaFleur (editor@collegefencing360.com)
(all content courtesy of College Fencing 360; please credit and link accordingly)

Defending NCAA champion NOTRE DAME has earned the No. 1 spot in both the men’s and women’s polls, in the first 2018 release of the CollegeFencing360 National Coaches Polls, as teams prepare to enter into the bulk of the 2017-18 season. The ND women are a near-unanimous No. 1 (147 voting points, out of 150 maximum), while the Irish men (138), narrowly edged COLUMBIA and OHIO STATE (both with 136) in possibly the closest three-team balloting for the top spot in the coaches’ poll history.

The Ohio State men actually received the most first-place votes (4), followed by three each for Notre Dame and Columbia. The ND women garnered eight of the 10 first-place votes, with one each going to #3 Penn State and #4 Princeton. The Columbia women sit second in the poll, only two voting points ahead of PSU (128-126).

(Note: there are several notable college fencing tournaments on the weekend of Jan. 20-21; look for details soon on CF360 and also on Twitter via @CF360updates).

The 2018 opening polls mark the 11th time in the 18-year history of the college fencing coaches polls that one school has been No. 1 in both the men's and women's initial rankings for that season. In the 10 previous times, that school went on to win the NCAA Combined Men's and Women's Fencing Championship only three times, in successive years from 2009–11 (Penn State twice, and then Notre Dame in 2011).

Penn State has been #1 in both initial polls during four different seasons, followed by three times for Notre Dame, two for Ohio State and one each for St. John's and Columbia. The 10 previous times that a school has been #1 in both initial polls have seen those schools go on to win the NCAA title three times while finishing runner-up three other times and third place three times as well. Penn State's 2012 men's and women's teams both were initial #1s, but the Nittany Lions ultimately finished fifth in the 2012 NCAAs.

• Schools ranked #1 in both men's and women's fencing (initial coaches polls):
2002 – St. John's (ultimately finished 2nd ... Penn State won NCAA title)
2003 – Penn State (finished 2nd ... Notre Dame won title)
2004 – Notre Dame (finished 3rd ... Ohio State won title)
2005 – Ohio State (finished 2nd ... ND won title)
2006 – Ohio State (finished 3rd ... Harvard won title)
2009 – Penn State (PSU won title)
2010 – Penn State (
PSU won title)
2011 – Notre Dame (
ND won title)
2012 – Penn State (finished 5th ... OSU won title)
2017 –Columbia (finished 3rd ... ND won title)

The Notre Dame men have ended a six-year drought of not being ranked No. 1 (dating back to the final 2011 poll) and the Irish men now have been rank atop the the poll 17 times in their history, matching longtime rival Penn State (17) for the most times ranked No. 1. Other men's programs to hold down the top ranking – among 60 total men’s team’s ranked No. 1 dating back to the 2001 season – include Columbia (11), Ohio State (10), St. John's (2), Stanford (1), Harvard (1) and U-Penn (1). These totals include three polls in which there were co-#1s.

The Notre Dame women have been ranked No. 1 in nearly half (26 of 54) of the women’s college fencing polls dating back to 2002. The Penn State women are a distant second, having been top-ranked nine times, followed by Princeton (8), Columbia (6; all over the past four seasons), Ohio State (3), and St. John’s (3).

The annual college fencing coaches polls currently are determined by vote from 10 collegiate men’s fencing coaches and 10 from the women’s side. The poll is sponsored by the United States Fencing Coaches Association (USFCA) and co-sponsored/administered by Pete LaFleur of CollegeFencing360.com (CF360). Updated polls will be released in late early February, early March and then finally in mid-March (prior to the 2018 NCAA Championships).

The full initial 2018 CF360 Fencing Coaches Polls follow below (including all teams receiving votes). 


CollegeFencing360 Coaches Polls #1 (Jan. 19, 2018)
MEN  (first-place votes – Ohio State 4, Notre Dame 3, Columbia 3)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp./to be added) – voting points … final 2017 ranking)
1. Notre Dame – 138 voting pts … (t-2nd in final 2017 poll)
2. Ohio State – 136 … (t2)
2. Columbia – 136 … (1)
4. Penn State – 108 … (6)
5. Harvard – 106 … (8)
6. Princeton – 103 … (5)
7. Pennsylvania – 93 … (4)
8. St. John’s – 85 … (7)
9. Duke – 68 … (t9)
10. Stanford – 51 ... [11]
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – NYU (50; t-9th in final 2017 poll), North Carolina and UC San Diego (28), Yale (27), NJIT (20), Brandeis (9) Air Force (5), Boston College (3), Wayne State (3), Brown (2) and Johns Hopkins (1).


WOMEN  (first-place votes – Notre Dame 8, Penn State 1, Princeton 1)
(school (dual-meet record vs. varsity opp./to be added) – voting points … final 2017 ranking)
1. Notre Dame – 147 voting pts … (t1)

2. Columbia – 128 … (t1)
3. Penn State – 126 … (4)
4. Princeton – 117 … (3)
5. Ohio State – 115 … (5)
6. Harvard – 93 … (7)
7. Temple – 86 … (t8)
8. Northwestern – 80 ... [11]
9. Pennsylvania – 75 … (6)
10. St. John's – 51 ... (t8)
Also Receiving Votes (panel submits top-15) – Duke (45), North Carolina (37), Yale (32; #10 in final 2017 poll), Cornell, Stanford and UC San Diego (18), Air Force (8), NYU (4) and Boston College (2).

Voting Panel – Michael Aufrichtig (Columbia), Alex Beguinet (Duke), Sydney Fadner (Boston College), Nikki Franke (Temple; votes on women's poll only), Wes Glon (Penn State), Gia Kvaratskhelia (Notre Dame), Andy Ma (Penn; votes on men’s poll only), Josh Runyan (UC San Diego), Zach Moss (Northwestern), Bill Shipman (Brandeis) and Bruce Gilman (Vassar).

Poll Notes: coach Ma votes only on the men’s poll and coach Franke votes only on the women’s poll; there typically 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 – 21 in the Northeast, 13 in the Mid-Atlantic/South, 7 in the Midwest and 5 in the West … 10 of these schools sponsor only a varsity women’s fencing team: CCNY, Cornell, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Post, Northwestern, Queens, Temple, Tufts, Wagner and Wellesley … McKendree began varsity fencing status in 2016-17 (sponsoring men’s and women’s teams), as did Wagner for women only.

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    editor@collegefencing360.com