Champion Irish Distribute Team Awards At Annual Banquet

Irish celebrate back-to-back titles with dinner and ceremony


Irish Fencers Clean Up At Division I National Championships

Itkin, Sirico and Zagunis claim gold at annual championships


Shainberg, Sirico Tabbed As ACC Scholar-Athletes Of The Year

Irish land nine fencers on All-ACC Academic Teams


Itkin Snags Individual Gold at FIE Junior World Championships

Reigning NCAA men's foil champ also adds team bronze to resume


Notre Dame Clinches Tenth National Fencing Title

Irish second straight championship after four days of dominance


NCAA Fencing Championships - Day 2

NCAA Fencing Championships - Day 2


ACC Fencing Championships - Day 1

ACC Fencing Championships - Day 1


NCAA Fencing Championships - Day 3

NCAA Fencing Championships - Day 3


NCAA Fencing Championships Day 3

NCAA Fencing Championships Day 3


ACC Fencing Championships

ACC Fencing Championships - Day 1


  • 2015, 2017 NCAA Women’s Sabre Champion
  • 2016 NCAA Championship Women’s Sabre Sixth Place
  • 2015, 2017 First Team All-American
  • 2016 Second Team All-AMerican
  • 2017 NCAA Midwest Regional Women’s Sabre Champion
  • 2015, 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional Championship Women’s Sabre Runner-Up
  • 2017 ACC Women’s Sabre Champion
  • 2016 ACC Championship Women’s Sabre Fourth Place
  • 2015 ACC Championship Women’s Sabre Fifth Place
  • 2015 ACC All-Academic Team
  • 2016 ACC Fencer of the Week (Feb. 3, 2016)
  • 2017 Notre Dame Most Valuable Sabreuse
  • 2017 ACC Women’s Fencer of the Year for Sabre


  • Posted a season record of 43-13 through five contests
  • Opened the season on a 8-1 run at the Elite Invitational
  • Went on to post a 9-2 record at the St. John's Invitational
  • Finished the regular-season with a 13-5 outting at the Northwestern Duals
  • Wrapped the season at the ACC Championships, posting a 7-2 record


  • Captured second career NCAA Championship title in women’s sabre, defeating Teodora Kakhiani (Penn State) 15-14 in a thrilling title bout
  • Earned the top seed in the tournament, going 20-3 in pool play
  • Snared first career regional title with the crown at the NCAA Midwest Regional
  • Also earned first career conference title with a dominating performance at the ACC Championship
  • Went undefeated during pool play at ACCs and won easily over Diana Philpot (UNC, 15-3 semi) and Lindsay Sapienza (Duke, 15-7 final)
  • Went 37-16 during the dual season
  • Ended the season ranked sixth in career sabre wins (since 2000) with a 144-36 record
  • Named the team’s most valuable sabreuse
  • Also named ACC Women’s Fencer of the Year for Sabre
  • Earned a monogram


  • Became a two-time All-American, taking Second Team honors with her sixth-place finish in women’s sabre at the NCAA Championships  
  • Went 8-2 during pool play at the NCAA Midwest Regional to take runner-up honors
  • Placed fourth during individual play at the ACC Championships  
  • Went a perfect 8-0 during team play at the ACC Championships to help the Irish capture their second straight conference title
  • Went 54-7 (.885) during dual play during the season, good for seventh place on the sabre single-season wins list and win percentage list in program history  
  • Kicked off the season with a 12-1 mark at the Penn Elite Invitational  
  • Went 4-0 on the first day of the DeCicco Duals
  • Posted a 19-2 record over two days at the Northwestern Duals, after which she was named the ACC Female Fencer of the Week  
  • Wrapped the regular season with an 11-4 mark at the Duke Duals  
  • Earned a monogram


  • Became the first sabreur since 2008 to win the NCAA women's sabre title as a freshman, competing as one of five freshmen for the Irish at the NCAA Championship meet  
  • Had the best individual record of any women's sabreuse with 53-13 mark her first season  
  • Helped the Irish capture the ACC Championship women's team title, finishing fifth by touches scored in individual competition  
  • Earned a 12-1 record at the Ohio State Elite Cup, 10-4 record at St. John's, 11-1 mark at the NYU Invite and 12-6 log at the Northwestern Duals  
  • Honored as ACC Women's Fencer of the Week  
  • At ACC Championships, women's team won the first ever women's team title
  • Individually, logged a matching 12-3 record with teammates Claudia Kulmacz and Jamie Norville in pool play, but did not advance to the semifinals
  • At NCAA Midwest Regional, finished second with a 10-2 record, automatically qualifying for NCAAs
  • At NCAA Championships, finished pool play with a 15-8 record, which earned her the No. 4 seed heading into the semifinals
  • Beat defending NCAA Champion Adrienne Jarocki of Harvard 15-12 and easily outscored Karen Chang of Penn State 15-6 to claim her first NCAA title with the Irish
  • Awarded first team All-American honors and received a monogram.


  • Competed with fellow Irish teammate Paul Cepak at Bergen Fencing Club in addition to prep team
  • Won New Jersey state title all four years in women's sabre  
  • As a freshman, named to cadet and junior United States Fencing Association (USFA) teams
  • Took third at Cadet World Championships in Moscow, Russia in sophomore season .
  • As a junior won team event at Junior World Championships in Porec, Croatia
  • Competed as a senior with Junior world team at Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  • Placed in top 16 at Senior World Cup in Ghent, Belgium, and won Junior and Division I competitions at Summer Nationals  
  • Biggest athletic thrill to date remains winning world championships with team in 2013
  • Graduated from Wayne Valley in June of 2014  
  • Voted fencer of the year freshman through senior year on prep team
  • Middle child of Roberto and Caterina Russo  
  • Has one younger brother, Gianluca, and an older sister, Jessica
  • Hails from Wayne, New Jersey
  • Enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business

Francesca Russo
Francesca  Russo


Wayne, NJ

High School:
Wayne Valley



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