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Fencing teams champion in Northeastern Conference Meet

By Zach Cihlar

Section: Sports

December 1, 2017

The Brandeis fencing teams spent the entirety of Saturday, Nov. 18 in Providence, RI, sparring against other northeastern schools in the first Northeastern Fencing Conference Meet.

The women had a longer day than the men, facing off against a total of seven teams. Ultimately, the women finished with a 6-1 result, dropping their only match to Wellesley in a tight 13-14 match. The women racked in their most points in the foil weapon, earning a total of 52 points in that category over the course of the day. The squad went undefeated for the entire day, going 9-0 in three performances.

Joanne Carminucci ’19 earned the most points for women’s team during the course of the day, racking in 16 total points with only one lost with the foil weapon. Carminucci’s fellow foilist Renee Pite ’19 earned the second highest number of points, going 12-3.

The fencing teams will host the Brandeis Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 3. They will host Yale University, St. John’s University, University of North Carolina, Cornell University and University of the Incarnate Word for the day. Last year, both the men’s and women’s teams went 1-4 with the teams they hosted. With a slightly different roster of teams attending the meet, they’ll look to have greater success than past years in their home gym.

The men’s fencing team faced a total of five teams, knocking off every opponent by at least five points. Their greatest competition came from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who took the match to 16-11. But they saw their peak dominance against the University of New Hampshire (UNH) with a 26-1 match score. Brandeis earned a majority of its points in the saber category with a total of 41 over the course of the day.

Three men’s fencers racked in seven or more points for the Judges on Saturday, all from either the saber squad or the foil squad. Saberist Leon Rotenstein ’20 went 7-0 throughout the day, earning the University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week title for his performances at the meet. He posted a notable win against New England Champion and NCAA qualifier Tzer Wong ’18.

Foil fencer Elishua Litle ’18 also contributed to the Judges’ win, going an undefeated 7-0 for his weapon with a notable triumph over NCAA qualifier from Sacred Heart University Tyler Endee ’18. Senior captain Kyle Berney ’18 put up the most wins for the Judges, going 8-1 for the day in the saber weapon.

The team this year is working with a deep roster, according to senior captain Berney. Each weapon squad has seven or more people to work with, “providing tons of variety for competition and improvement in practice,” he said. Underclassmen represent a large portion of the team, offering a young and eager presence, Berney added.

“We can’t wait to compete against some of the top-10 teams to try and dent the rankings,” Berney said, looking forward to the rest of the season. One of the team’s main goals is to end a “3-year dry streak” of NCAA qualifiers. The team will tackle regionals in March, towards the end of their season, which will help determine whether any qualifications may be possible. Until then, “There is a lot of excitement in the air” concerning the prospects of the 2017-18 fencing season, according to Berney.

After having an undefeated meet, it’s too soon to tell where the team will focus their energies for improvement, according to Berney. They will instead use the momentum to build confidence for the next meet.

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