Fencing holds record of 2-3 at Philadelphia Invitational, Morales wins multiple honors

January 24, 2020

The Brandeis University fencing squads headed south this past weekend to compete in the University of Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Invitational. After the tournament, the men’s and women’s teams both defeated two of their opponents, and fell to another three. The Judges topped competition from Wayne State University and Drew University. Additionally for the men, the team lost to New York University (NYU), fellow members of the University Athletic Association (UAA); Columbia University, the defending national champions; and the hosts of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn). The women also fell to Columbia University, the UPenn and Northwestern University. 

Against the Warriors from Wayne State, the women won by a margin of 21-6 and the men by a tighter score of 15-12. Also on the winning side, the women defeated Drew University with a score of 15-12, while the men topped the Rangers with a stance of 22-5. Against their highest ranked opponents from Columbia, with the men ranked number one and the women ranked number three in the country, the Brandeis men fell by a score of 7-20, while the women fell by a margin of 8-19. In the matches against Penn, whose men’s and women’s squads are ranked 10th nationally, the women lost by a score of 4-23, while the Quakers defeated the men 8-19. Lastly, the men also suffered a loss to NYU by a margin of 7-23, and the women fell to a ninth ranked Northwestern squad with a close score of 13-14.

When divided amongst the squads, women’s saber led the way with an impressive record of 4-1 on the weekend. Next, men’s saber, women’s foil and men’s epee all ended with a score of 2-3. Finally, men’s foil and women’s epee fell 1-4 after the competition.

Leading the successful women’s saber fencers, rookie Jessica Morales ’23 posted a 14-1 record that found her undefeated against Wayne State, Northwestern, Columbia and UPenn. She only lost to a competitor from Drew University. Fellow rookie Maggie Shealy ’23 was also quite outstanding in her performance as she held an 11-4 record. She was undefeated against opponents from Wayne State, Drew and Northwestern. For the foil squad, Jessica Gets ’20 excelled with a 10-5 record after sweeping both Wayne State and Drew. She also posted a winning record against Northwestern, defeating the Wildcats with a score of 2-1. Lastly for epee, Madeleine Veibert ’21 found six wins, including a sweep of Wayne State.

On the men’s side, first-year Ben Rogak ’23 led the way with nine total wins in the epee category as he defeated Wayne State, Drew, UPenn and Columbia by scores of 2-1 and picked up his last win against the Columbia Lions. Alexander Holtmann ’21 also won against every opponent he faced, finishing with a final score of 9-6.

For her series of impressive performances, Morales earned UAA Athlete of the Week honors for the fourth time this season. She also won this award last week after fencing for the country of Colombia at the Sieber Grand Prix international event in Montreal, Canada two weeks ago. She finished these matches with a record of 2-3 in pool play and ended with a tie in 83rd place which led her to being the 68th seed in the single elimination tournament. 

Over the course of this tournament, she beat a competitor from the United States Air Force Academy, Leah Singleton-Comfort, in the opening round. She then went on to upset the number four seed of the contest, Shihomi Fukushima of Japan, with a close score of 15-14. Lastly, she was able to face off against the second-ranked female fencer in the world, Manon Brunet of France, who is also an Olympic medalist, and fell by a margin of 15-9. 

After the weekend, the men have an 8-7 overall record, and the women are at 9-8. Next Saturday, Feb. 1, the teams will wrap up the Northeast Fencing Conference matchups at nearby Boston College.

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