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Women’s fencing claims Northeast Conference title, excel against Wellesley

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Sports

January 29, 2010

The Brandeis women’s fencing team had a dominating performance last Saturday at the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet at Boston College when they finished 6-0 to take the Conference crown for the second year in a row.

“I’m very happy with how the season [is going],” captain Alex Turner ’11 told The Hoot. “We lost six seniors last year, so a lot of the freshmen and sophomores have stepped up their game and really contributed to the team. Last year we won our conference and I’m ecstatic that we were able to do it again.”

The women went undefeated in sabre and epee and the foil team finished 4-2. The day ended with Brandeis taking down Dartmouth 19-8, besting Boston College 17-10, squeezing by Brown 14-13, beating Vassar 16-11, and subjugated Smith 20-7 and Tufts 21-6.

Epeeist Emma Larkin ’11 contributed in a big way to the Judges success, especially with a huge win against Brown to break their 13-13 tie. Larkin dropped only one match the entire day.

Larkin was named the female UAA Outstanding Athlete of the Week for her performances.

Foil Vikki Nunley ’13 also stepped up to aid in the victory with a 14-4 day. Turner pointed to Zoe Messinger ’13 as another player making “huge contributions” to the team.

“I feel that we’ve made a huge improvement at this past meet,” Turner explained. “At the Brandeis Invitational the team did not do so well.”

While the Judges came close to taking down some very tough teams in their home meet, they struggled. Turner saw this past weekend as “a total turn around.”

“Going 6-0 was amazing,” Turner told The Hoot. “Our team had a lot of energy and team spirit that I think played a part in our victories.”

The men finished 2-3 starting out the day by beating Tufts 15-12 and Dartmouth 19-8. They were unable to build off their strong start, though, and fell to Boston College 16-11 and Brown 19-8. Their final loss was a close one, just falling to Vassar 14-13.

The Brandeis women faced off against Wellesley on the road Wednesday night and took them down 18-9. Last year the Judges hosted the meeting and also saw success.

The Judges fell to Wellesley 6-3 in epee, the only event in which they did not beat their hosts. Brandeis went 7-2 in foil thanks to undefeated performances from Nunley and Julia Mouk ’10. Nunley had a team-best 3-0 while Mouk went 2-0. The Judges went 8-1 in sabre, winning the first eight bouts. Anna Hanley ’11 and Turner each went 2-0 while Messinger went 2-1.

The women moved up to 13-5 on the season with their victory against Wellesley.

Both squads will be in action again this weekend when they host the Brandeis/MIT Invitational, also called the Eric Sollee Invitational. The bouts will start at 9 a.m. and the teams are hoping for a good Brandeis turnout to show support.

“The meet this weekend is always a big one,” Turner explained. “We get to fence a lot of big name schools such as UPenn, Air Force and NYU. It’s always nice for a program like Brandeis to win against these schools.”

Turner said she believes the team spirit they have been fostering will help bring them success against such tough schools. While the captain is hoping for a “repeat of last weekend,” she said she would be thrilled as long as the team keeps up the hard work.

Once the Judges finish up at home they will head down to Duke for their invitational on the first weekend in February.

“Its a highlight of our season because we get to fence some of the best people in the country,” Turner told The Hoot. “An added bonus this year is that we are flying instead of taking a 16-hour bus ride. So it will be much less stressful of a trip.”

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