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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Fencers still strong in post-season

Published: February 28, 2014
Section: Sports

Though the regular fencing season is complete, the team continued to channel their strength for post-season meets at Mount Holyoke College and the University of Pennsylvania.

At the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference on Feb. 22 hosted by Holyoke, Brandeis took home the trophy as the six-weapon champion, living up to last year’s victory. For this title, the Judges outscored Sacred Heart University by five touches.

The men also maintained their winning streak, placing first once again. Although the women did not do as well, they came in third behind Sacred Heart and Boston College.

Working hard on the strips, the women’s foil and the men’s saber and foil squads took gold, while the male epeeists placed third, being edged out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Sacred Heart. In fifth were the women’s saber and epee squads.

Several team members medaled individually throughout the day. Representing saber in the winner’s circle were Adam Mandel ’15 with gold and Jess Ochs-Willard ’15 with silver. Foilists who reached the top six and won medals include Noah Berman ’15 in second, as well as Len Grazian ’17, Ethan Levy ’15, and Vikki Nunley ’14. Epee was not without its medals either, as Ari Feingersch ’16 and Gwen Mowell ’16 won fourth and sixth, respectively. Rookie Nina Sayles did not earn a medal, but she ranked 10th in women’s saber for the day.

With victory on their shoulders, the men’s saber and foil and women’s foil squads traveled to the University of Pennsylvania to compete at the United States Collegiate Squad Championships the next day, Feb. 23.

The format for this tournament differed from the previous day’s. Rather than fencers completing individual bouts after one side has won five touches, each squad competed for a cumulative score of 45. At every first multiple of five, teammates rotated, and both schools put new fencers on the trip, with the team who scored 45 touches first declared the match’s winner.

All squads took home bronze, only ever behind Princeton University #5 men and #1 women and Penn, #7 for both women and men.

The team opened the meet against New York University, outperforming the Violets on all three strips.

Mandel, Ben Loft ’15 and Ochs-Willard beat out the University of North Carolina’s male saber squad for third, 45-42.

Men’s foilists Julian Cardillo ’14, Grazian, Levy and Berman pushed hard on their strip to tie at 44 against Boston College, but Berman outtouched his final opponent to win the match and rank in the number three spot.

In the match for third place, the female foil squad faced UNC. Eva Ahmad ’16, Annie Kim ’16, Caroline Mattos ’16 and Nunley took the strip against the Tar Heels, who lost 39 to the Judges’ 45 after consistently trailing Brandeis.

Fencing will resume competition next Sunday, Mar. 9 for the NCAA Regional Championships at Wellesley College, which will qualify some fencers to move on to the NCAA Championships at Ohio State University on Mar. 20-23.