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Fencing takes the I-95 success route again

By Ian Guss

Section: Sports

March 3, 2006

The Men's Fencing team continued its successful season with a fifth place finish at the IFA championships at the University of Pennsylvania this past weekend. Eleven teams competed, with only four Division I schools (Harvard, UPENN, Columbia and Princeton) finishing in front of the Brandeis squad.

The biggest individual success for the men was the performance of Eugene Vortsman 08. He earned foil bronze and led the foil squad to an overall third place finish. Vortsman was seeded fourth in the individual single elimination bracket after posting a 6-4 record in the 'A' pool. He beat 13th ranked Mike Aboodi of Yale 15-5, and 14th ranked Calvin Chen from Columbia 15-12 to reach the semifinals.

Vortsman lost to the top seed in the tournament in the semis. However, in the bronze-medal match, Vortsman defeated Princeton's Alex Vandenburg-Rhodes 15-8.
Individually, I was competing against the smartest and best fencers in the country. We were the underdogs in the tournament, we just wanted it more. We just showed a lot of enthusiasm and desire to win, Vortsman said.

Another Brandeis star, Will Friedman 09, was seeded ninth in the individual competition, posting an 8-2 record to win the foil 'B' pool, but ended up finishing in sixth place. As a rookie, his performance impressed many of his teammates.

Will Friedman had many clutch bouts that we needed him to win, where he beat many of the top fencers in the country, Vortsman added.

The Lady Judges also faired well in the competition. The team finished the weekend sixth overall in a field of 12 teams. Three fencers placed fifth in their respective pools. Rachel Goldstein 07 led the Judges with a fifth place finish in the saber 'B' pool. Chantal Dewey 07 matched her teammates position in the foil 'A' pool, and Jessica Davis-Heim 09 rounded out the top three individual performers by finishing fifth in the foil 'C' group.

Vortsman summed up the tournament by saying, We're a young team and we have a lot of potential to keep doing great. We fought against the best and proved that we can hold our own.

The Intercollegiate Fencing Association Championship is made up of most of the top fencers from the East Coast. This tournament differed from a regular meet because the fencers were broken up into three different groups. Also, there were a total of nine bouts for each school compared to the normal 27.

The season continues this weekend with regional competition. More than 10 members of the Brandeis mens and womens teams are scheduled to compete.

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