Both the men’s and the women’s fencing teams struggled at the Duke University Invitational this weekend. The women’s team fell to all five teams they faced, while the men’s team secured one victory against Johns Hopkins University to counteract their four losses.

Men’s team

On Saturday, Feb. 8, the men’s team went 1–4, although they came close to victory against the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tarheels. With scores of 4–5 sabre, 4–5 foil and 5–4 epee, the Judges narrowly lost to Penn State, 13–14. Sabre fencer Alex Holtman ’21 won two of Brandeis’ four victorious bouts, with Ian Quin ’20 earning two of the foil squad’s victories. On epee, Ben Rogak ’23 was undefeated, taking home three of the squad’s five successful bouts.

The epee squad continued to shine as the Judges went 12–15 against UNC, with scores of 3–6 sabre, 3–6 foil and 6–3 epee. Rogak went undefeated in another three bouts, with fellow epeeist Chris Armstrong ’20 adding two victories. Lucas Lin ’22 and Quin each won two bouts for the sabre and foil squads, respectively.

The Judges dominated against the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays with a final tally of 18–9. Holtmann and Lin both won two bouts, helping the sabre squad earn its 5–4 score. On the foil side, which went 6–3, Sam Chestna ’20 won three bouts and Jake Hempe ’23 won two, with both fencers going undefeated. The epee squad had the day’s strongest showing, going 7–2, led by Armstrong, who won all three of his bouts.

The Judges lost to the University of Notre Dame, and their host, Duke University, 7–20 and 10–17 respectively. The sabre and epee squads fell 3–6 to Notre Dame, while the foil squad had their worst showing of the day with a score of 1–8. Lin and Rogak each contributed two wins, to the sabre and epee scores, respectively. Against Duke, the sabre squad was 2–7, and the foil and epee squads were both 4–5. Josh Shuster ’23 won three of the four successful epee bouts against Duke, going undefeated against the Duke Blue Devils.

The epee squad had the strongest showing, beating three of the five universities at the invitational. The sabre and foil squads both went 1–4. The men’s team is now 16–16.

Women’s team

The women’s team faced stiff competition on Sunday, Feb. 9, falling to all five university opponents at the invitational.

The Judge’s strongest showing came against UNC, 12–15, with all three squads going 4–5. Jessica Morales ’23 dominated on sabre, going undefeated in her three bouts. Foil fencer Jessica Gets ’20 and epeeist Dakota Levy ’20 each earned two wins for their squads.

The Judges fell 6–21 to both Notre Dame and Duke. Against Notre Dame, the sabre squad fared the best (3–6), while the epee (2–7) and foil (1–8) squads struggled. The sabre squad also got the closest to beating Duke (4–5), with the foil (0–9) and epee (2–7) squads continuing to lag behind. Cumulatively against the two universities, Maggie Shealy ’23 won three bouts and Morales won four to lead the sabre squad.

The Penn State Nittany Lions beat the Judges 20–7. Shealy and Morales earned the sabre squad’s three victories and Gets earned the foil squad’s two wins. The epee squad went 2–7, with one win each from Levy and Madeleine Vibert ’21. Against the Temple University Owls, the Judges fell 3–24, all squads 1–8. Morales, Gets and Vibert each earned their squad’s single win.

Overall, Morales and Shealy dominated the sabre squad, winning nine and six bouts, respectively. Gets won five foil bouts, and Vibert and Levy each won four epee bouts. None of the squads won any of their matches, with squad records of 0–5 for all. Despite their losses, the team’s record remains at  19–17 overall this season.

Both squads will look to redeem themselves on Wednesday at the Boston College Beanpot Tournament in Chestnut Hill, MA.