June 8, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame fencers Lee Kiefer and Jonathan Fitzgerald were once again honored for their academic success Thursday, earning Academic All-America status when the College Sports Information Directors of America announced the Men’s and Women’s At-Large Teams.
Kiefer became a First Team All-America selection for the second time, while Fitzgerald earned a third-team nod for his first career All-America selection. Kiefer was a 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-American and is one of 10 two-time first-team picks on this year’s team.
Kiefer set the standard both athletically and academically during her four years with the Irish. She became the first Notre Dame student-athlete to win four NCAA titles in the same event, and just the third collegiate fencer to accomplish the feat. She joins 18 other collegiate athletes who have won four national titles in the same event. The current No. 1-ranked foilist in the world, Kiefer helped guide the Irish to their ninth NCAA Championship in 2017, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Fencer of the Year for Foil, claimed a spot on the All-ACC Academic Team, and capped her career with a Byron V. Kanaley Award, which is given to senior monogram athletes who have been most exemplary as students and leaders. She graduated with a 3.67 grade point average with a science pre-professional degree and will attend medical school at the University of Kentucky.
Fitzgerald is a three-time All-ACC Academic Team member and is coming off the best season of his career. A Third Team All-American in 2016, Fitzgerald copped Second Team All-America honors this season after finishing eighth in men’s sabre at the NCAA Fencing Championships. He is a three-time NCAA qualifier, was the 2015 ACC Men’s Sabre Champion, the 2016 ACC Men’s Sabre Runner-Up and the 2017 NCAA Midwest Regional Men’s Sabre bronze medalist. He currently owns a 3.42 grade point average with a double major in Arabic and peace studies.
The At-Large teams recognize student-athletes competing in women's beach volleyball, women's bowling, women's crew/rowing, men's and women's fencing, women's field hockey, men's and women's golf. men's and women's gymnastics, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rifle, men's and women's skiing, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's volleyball, men's and women's water polo and men's wrestling.
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women's soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master's degree from Georgetown University in 2013.