On Saturday, Feb. 22, the Brandeis Judges participated in the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference tournament held at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. The NEIFC is a league focused on supporting and developing intercollegiate fencing programs in and around New England. NEIFC hosts two tournaments each season. The first is the Fall Invitational usually held the first Saturday in November, and the Championship is usually held in late February.

The Brandeis fencing team took home three individual bronze medals and three top-three team placements. The overall top placement came from the men's sabre squad who was second, while the women's sabre squad was third. The men also placed third in the overall three-weapon standings.

As a team, the men's epee came in fourth. Individually, the Judges earned a bronze medal in men's sabre from Lucus Lin ’22. In addition, Braden Vaccari ’23 was eighth in men's sabre and Garrett Tordo ’21 was ninth in men’s epee. Alek Broszkowski ’21 was 10th in men's foil. 

As a team, the women's foil came in fourth, while women's epee was sixth. Individually, the Judges had a bronze medal in women's sabre from Maggie Shealy ’23 and in women's foil from Jessica Gets ’20. Jada Harrison ’22 was sixth in sabre.

Overall NEIFC results were the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the Overall six-Weapon Team Champion and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst as the Club Teams six-Weapon Team Champion. 

The Brandeis fencing head coach is Jennie Salmon, who is in her second season with the Judges. Assistant coaches are Arpad Horvath (fifth season), Matthew Zich (second season) and Jeff Salmon (first season). The Armorer is Al Merritt who is in his fourth season. The men’s captains are Chris Armstrong '20, Charlie Catino '20, Shawn Pyatesky '20 and Ian Quin '20. The women’s captains are Devon Brown '21, Jessica Gets '20, Hannah Mui '20 and Madeleine Vibert '21.        In addition, the University Athletic Association named its Winter 2019-20 Academic All-UAA team, and Brandeis University student-athletes earned 63 honors. Within the UAA, All-Academic recognition is awarded to student-athletes who have completed at least one full year of college and who carry a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.300. In fencing, 12 Brandeis athletes were named to the team. They include Devon Brown ’21, Dakota Levy ’20, Mia Li ’20, Jess Spear ’21, Madeleine Vibert ’21 Chris Armstrong ’20, Sam Chestna ’20, Trevor Filseth ’20, Alexander Holtmann ’21, Harrison Kaish ’22, Shawn Pyatetsky ’20 and Garrett Tordo ’21.

In an interview with the Justice, Levy explained, “It feels good to be recognized not only for our athletic accomplishments but for our academic ones as well ...  At Brandeis, the “student” part of student-athlete really means something [and] academics are a vital part of the student-athlete experience here at Brandeis.” 

The Judges will travel to Ithaca, NY to visit Cornell University in two weeks to compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Regionals. 

—Trevor Filseth is a Justice Forum writer.