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Fencing faces tough opponents at Brandeis Invitational

Published: January 16, 2015
Section: Sports


The Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing teams participated in the Brandeis Invitational on Dec. 7 in Gosman Athletic Center, where the Judges captured five wins in nine matches. Brandeis swept both Yale and Johns Hopkins, with the women beating Yale by a score of 14-13 and Johns Hopkins 19-8, while the men beat Yale 17-10 and Johns Hopkins 15-12. The victory against Yale was the first for the men’s team since 2007. Both teams were swept by St. Johns. However, the women defeated the Air Force Academy, 17-10, but the men lost, 16-11. The women were also defeated by Cornell, 18-9.

In the match against Yale, Yale took saber, while Brandeis won in foil. However, the two teams were tied in epee, 3-3, when Rosa Zhang ’16 and Gwen Mowell ’16 earned wins to secure the win over Yale, both going 2-1 in the match. Caroline Mattos ’16, foil, was the only Judge to go 3-0 against Yale, but Emilia Dwyer ’16 and Boots Xue ’16 each went 2-1 in foil. Ashley Jean ’17 clinched two wins in saber. The women swept all three weapons against Johns Hopkins, with a 7-2 victory in saber and foil and a 5-4 win in epee. Both Jean and Xue went 3-0 in foil for the Judges. The women beat the Air Force Academy with a 9-0 sweep, led by the epee squad. Mowell and Liz Feller ’18 each went 3-0 in epee, while Jean and Jaclyn Hammond ’17 went 2-1 in saber to help them win 5-4.

Mattos commented on the success of the women’s team at the Invitational, “The team did a decent job at the Invitational. Those teams were tough, but I felt like we held our own for the most part. However, there’s always room for improvement.”

The men’s team dominated against Yale, sweeping them in all three weapons. The Judges secured a 7-2 win in saber, while wins in foil and epee amounted to 5-4. Adam Mandel ’15 and Jess Ochs-Willard ’15 went 3-0 for saber. Noah Berman ’15 and Guillermo Narvaez ’18 each went 2-1 in foil, while a win in his final bout from Ethan Levy ’15, led the Judges to victory in foil. Brandeis secured the win in epee with 2-1 records from Justin Kwon ’16 and Hunter Stusnick ’18. In the match against Johns Hopkins, the men won 7-2 in saber and foil, but lost 8-1 in epee. Mandel went 3-0 in saber, while Len Grazian ’17 went 3-0 in foil.

In the men’s loss against the Air Force academy, the final foil score was 5-4. However, Mandel went 3-0 in saber, in a close loss of 5-4. In the match against St. John’s, women’s foil and men’s saber got the closest to a win for Brandeis. However, both fell 5-4.

Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing will compete in the Western Invitational this weekend, Jan. 17 at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Both teams will face the Air Force Academy again, as well as Stanford, Caltech, UCSD and Northwestern.

“We’ve been training hard not only with fencing practice but also conditioning since the last tournament, so hopefully we’ll have more stamina since we’ll need it due to the increased altitude … We’re all motivated to do well, and hopefully we can use that to win crucial bouts,” Mattos commented about this weekend’s competition.

For the men’s team, the pressure is on as Brandeis will face Air Force again after losing at home.

Stusnick commented on the competition this weekend against the Air Force academy saying, “The men’s team has performed well in the past two meets; however, we are striving to improve on our results, namely against Air Force, who beat us at the Brandeis Invitational. It was a close meet then, and we have been training hard.”