The Madeira School is proud to recognize senior Michaela Joyce on her commitment to further her academic and athletic career as a member of the fencing team at the University of Notre Dame. Joyce is currently ranked 6th in the world in junior epee fencing.
The storied history of Notre Dame fencing has produced 11 national title teams, their most recent win in 2021, as well as another 13 national runner-up finishes. Since the NCAA Championship became a co-ed team title in 1990, the Irish have claimed six championships.
“Choosing Notre Dame was the culmination of many pieces coming together” said Joyce, “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”
Joyce began epee fencing when she was 11 years old after seeing a demonstration at her elementary school by Ilya Lobanenkov, head coach and founder of Cardinal Fencing Academy, where Joyce currently trains. Epee fencing is an Olympic and NCAA combat sport where the athlete's actions are registered on an electronic scoring machine. Every part of the body is a target.
“The tip of a fencing weapon is the second fastest thing in the modern Olympics,” said Joyce.
She qualified for her first international tournament at the age of 15 and has been a dedicated student-athlete ever since. She is a member of the Junior World Championships Team, Cadet World Championships Team, and has traveled to tournaments all over the world. Most recently Joyce trained with the Paralympic Fencing Team as they prepared for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
When it comes to balancing school and fencing, Joyce says it is all about priorities. At Madeira, she has held several leadership roles, including serving as 9th grade Co-Class President and working for Madeira’s Admissions Office as a tour guide. As part of Madeira’s signature Co-Curriculum internship program, Joyce interned during her junior year with Black Women United for Action, a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering vulnerable families by providing programs and support services. Joyce hopes to study theology at the University of Notre Dame.
"Over the past four years, I’ve watched Michaela’s hard work and dedication manifest into her becoming an exceptional student-athlete," said Assistant Athletic Director, Ka’Shauna Cook. “She has always had a desire to excel in everything she does.”