Riding the momentum of their dominance at the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet in late January, the Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing teams entered the month of February ready to continue their winning ways. However, the Judges have faced stiff, sometimes nationally ranked competition through their first two meets of the month. The teams persevered nonetheless and posted respectable records despite their formidable opponents. The men’s team went a combined 4-5 while the women went 3-6. 

Duke Invitational

For both teams, this was a test of how they would fare among some of the top competition in the nation. On Saturday, The men’s team faced fifth ranked Penn State, ninth ranked Duke University, the University of North Carolina, and Johns Hopkins University.  While Brandeis definitely doesn’t have the athletic prestige of their opponents in this meet, they still held their own amongst the fray, even as one of only two division III schools invited. The Judges opened the day against UNC, an opponent they had beat earlier in the season. However, the Tar Heels were victorious in this match, overcoming a 13-11 deficit to win 14-13. The team then faced Duke who gave them their worst beatdown on the day. The Blue Devils swept all three weapons en route to a 22-5 dominant win. Only Curtis Wilson ’18 posted a winning record, going 2-0 as a saber. The men then faced Johns Hopkins University, and posted their only win of the day, 17-11. The foil and saber squads performed especially well in this match, going 8-1 and 7-2 respectively. The men’s team ended their day with their toughest challenge yet, Penn State. The foil team continued to impress, winning 5-4, but the Nittany Lions dominated the other two weapons, winning 21-6 overall. 

The Women’s team didn’t have it any easier. On Sunday, they were tasked with facing UNC, no. 10 Duke, no. 3 Penn State and no. 7 Temple University. While the judges battled hard, they couldn’t string together wins at the right times, dropping all four matches. The Judges opened against Penn State, losing all three weapons and dropping the match 22-5. The team then battled Temple. While the epee squad gave the Judges a 6-3 advantage, one of its two squad wins on the day, the other two weapons didn’t find the same success. The Owls were victorious overall, winning 19-8. In the third round of the day, the team was dominated 24-3 by host and 10th ranked Duke. The team then faced UNC for their final match of the day. The foil squad won 6-3, but the Tar Heels won the other two weapons 7-2 in each, winning 17-10.

Eric Sollee Invitational

Both the men’s and women’s teams posted identical 3-2 records for their annual local meet. Both teams started off the day with quick wins over Hunter College (Men, 18-9; Women, 23-4). They then quickly followed that up with a pair of wins against Haverford College (Men, 19-8; Women, 16-11). The teams then faced the Stevens Institute of Technology in their third round of the day. The men won the match 19-8 while the women suffered their first defeat of the day, losing 17-11. The fencers then faced fellow University Athletic Association rival New York University. The violets were the only team to sweep both the men and the women, doing so with relative ease. The men were defeated 19-8 while the women lost 18-9.  

The team has four meets left on the season. Tomorrow, the team will travel to MIT for the Beanpot Invitational meet.