Both the men’s and women’s fencing teams faced tough competition at the Brandeis Invitational held on Dec. 1. The men ended the day with a 2–3 record and the women had  a 1–4 record for the day.

Despite their losing records, both teams performed well. According to men’s sabre fencer and men’s captain team Charlie Catino ’20, this invitational marked the closest the men’s team had come to beating Harvard University, one of their three losses of the day. 

“I thought our whole team did awesome [sic],” Catino told the Justice. “Everyone on both the men’s and women’s gave 110% effort for every bout, all day. I’m very proud of us.”

The other teams that the men’s squad lost to were from Saint John’s University and Yale University. The men defeated Cornell University and the University of the Incarnate Word. The women’s only victory was against UIW. They lost at the hands of the Cornell, St. John’s, Yale and Harvard squads. 

Catino had a successful day, ending with a 2-1 record against Harvard and 2–0 against Cornell. Another leader for the men’s squad was sabre fencer Lucas Lin ’22, who went 3–0 against Harvard and 2–0 against Cornell. Sabrist Shawn Pyatetsky ’20 went 3–0 against Cornell, and sabrist Dexin Huang ’23 went 3–0 against UIW. 

On the women’s side there were also strong team leaders. Sabrist Jessica Morales ’23 contributed the most wins for the Judges, going 7–3 overall. Morales’ most notable performances were in her 3–0 record against St. John’s, 2–0 against Yale and 2–1 against Cornell. Epee fencer Paula Thorton ’23, foilist Jessica Gets ’20, sabrist Jada Harrison ’22 and sabrist Maggie Shealy ’23 each provided two wins against UIW. ğ

Next, the Judges will attend the Philadelphia Invitational on Jan. 19, 2020. Looking ahead to the spring semester, the team will attend the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference on Feb. 22, 2020, as well as the NCAA tournaments. Catino added, “I’d love to see us crush the second conference meet, bring home some gold medals at NEIFCs like last year, and hopefully send a few fencers to NCAAs. It’s been a while since we’ve sent fencers to NCAAs, but this year looks promising!” According to Catino, the last fencer to reach NCAAs was foilist Noah Berman ’15, back in 2014.

Women’s captain Hannah Mui ’20 discussed the progress the team has made so far. She told the Justice, “Although it is early on in our season I think our team has learned very quickly how to work well together. Each year as seniors graduate and we welcome a new class of fencers to the team the dynamic changes, but we were able to quickly create a well working team.” She added the the team had many University Athletic Association Athlete of the Week medals and titles to start the season, namely from the Judges’ Fall Invitational Tournament.