Fencers defend home turf in NCAA regionals
Members of the Brandeis University Men’s and Women’s fencing teams competed with the top talent from the region at the NCAA regional championships. Being the host school for the event, there was increased pressure to perform well in front of the Brandeis faithful. Good performances in the meet should qualify fencers to advance to the NCAA national collegiate fencing championships later this month. If a Judge advances, he or she will be the school’s first national competitor since 2014. Here’s how the fencers fared.
For the men’s team, many fencers competed in the meet using all three weapons. The saber squad included Leon Rotenstein ’20 and Kyle Berney ’18. Rotenstein went 2-3 in the opening round, but was able to sneak into the semifinals in the 21st and final spot. Berney went 4-2 in the opening round, making it to the semis in the 10th spot. The two teammates were paired together in their semifinal pod. Rotenstein went 3-3 overall in the semis and picked up two more wins in the finals to place 11th overall. Berney did not pick up a win in the semis, dropping him to 20th overall in his weapon.
In the men’s foil, one of the three fencers reached the final round. Elishua Litle ’18 started as the events 13th seed, earning him a bye into the second round. He used a 5-1 performance in the round of 35 to advance to the semifinals as the fifth seed. He then went 4-2 in the semis to claim the seventh seed in the finals. He posted three wins in the finals, giving him an outside shot to make nationals. Ian Quin ’20 and Jared Sugarman ’21 each went 3-3 in the round of 35 to claim the 19th and 21st spots, respectively. Sugarman went 3-3 in the semis and only missed the final on point differential by five touches.
The men’s epee squad sent one fencer to the semifinals. Hunter Stusnick ’18 ended up in a four way tie for the 8 seed going into the semis, but his two semi final wins were not enough to advance him to the finals.
The women’s team also had many fencers competing in the meet. The women’s foil saw the best performance of the day and the most likely contender in the finals, Joanne Carminucci ’19. Seeded 17th, she was given a bye into the second round of the competition. She went 4-2 in the round of 35 to reach the semifinals as the eighth seed. In the semifinals, she picked up four more wins to move on to the finals. A 5-6 record in the finals was good enough to place her eighth overall. With fencers from Columbia holding the top four spots, two more than is allowed, Carminucci is almost guaranteed a trip to the finals.
The epee squad saw three judges reach the second round, but none reached the semis. Dakota Levy ’20 and Maddy Vibert ’21 went 4-0 and 3-1 respectively to advance to the second round. Liz Feller ’18, who received a bye, went 2-4 placing her 23rd, two away from advancing. Levy placed 33rd while Vibert finished in 36th.
Women’s saber saw only Laura Broffman ‘18, who finished in 30th. She went 3-1 in the opening round to advance to the round of 35, but could only muster one win in the second round.
If Brandeis has any fencers that qualify for finals, we won’t know until Tuesday afternoon. The NCAA Fencing Championships will be held at Penn State University on March 22 through 25.