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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The Hoot takes a look at fencing

Published: November 3, 2006
Section: Sports

With the fencing team taking up its arms on Saturday, The Hoot was able to catch up with men's fencing captain Brenden Doris-Pierce '07 (sabre). Doris-Pierce was gracious enough to provide The Hoot, with insights on the men's side via e-mail.

Thoughts on last season
“Last season was a great season for us as a team. We had several big victories, NYU and Duke come to mind. At the same time we had several dissapointing losses that still bother returning fencers. One thing we need to do as a team is be much more consistant. We are capable of defeating just about any team we fence, but we need to start believing that and start fencing like that.”

About team departures
“Obviously a big departure for us was last years men's team captain and NCAA qualifier in mens sabre, Jeremy Simpson. Jeremy had been a rock on the team for four years, so his presence will be missed. Also, Jim Kahler is taking the semester off and he will also be missed on the team.”

“Our Epee squad has six freshmen and the competition between them is intense. They bring an enthusiasm to the team that is vital.”

Key returns
“Our two men's foil sophomores, Will Friedman and JD Carrol, were integral to our teams success last year. It's also good to have Isaac Lieberman back on the team after he went abroad last semester.”

On strengths and weaknesses
“The depth on our team is very impressive. On any weapon squad we can go two fencers deep into our bench and still fence at a high level. That being said, the entire team can fence better than we did last year. It's just a matter of wanting it.”

On Coach Bill Shipman
“I think the fact that he's the only Brandeis coach to produce an Olympian says it all. If you want it bad enough, coach has the tools to get you there.”

“MIT and Brown are our two big local rivals. We lost to both of them once last year and are making it a goal not to let that happen again. Also we've established winning streaks against NYU and Yale and need to work hard to keep those going against established programs. Harvard is also a big meet at home this year, there were some shennanigans that went on when we fenced at Harvard last year and the team is looking to flip the tables.”

“I expect us to fence up to our abilities and I believe those abilities are to qualify at the very least one fencer from each weapon to NCAA's.”

Doris-Pierce also added that the team fences better “when we have a crowd.”

Coach Bill Shipman basically echoed Doris-Pierce's sentiments regarding the men's team.

When asked about the women's team, Shipman explained that with little turnover and only four freshman, the women's side was largely the same team from last year. Like the men's team, foil was the strongest weapon and sabre the weakest, though Shipman stated that it should be strengthened with Jenny Press '09 gaining experience with the sabre and Kirsten Heinz '09 hopefully making a return from injury.
“If everything goes well and everybody comes together,” Coach Shipman said, “I think we'll have a good season.”

The women's captain is Chantal Dewey '07 (foil).