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Brandeis wins at the Big One

On Nov. 7 Brandeis men’s and women’s fencing competed at New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Fall Tournament at Vassar College. Out of the six events combined between the men’s and women’s team, the teams had 11 total medals (finish within the top eight). They won one gold medal and two bronze medals. 

In the men’s épée there were 11 members from Brandeis. This includes Ben Rogak ’23, who was the 16th ranked player for men’s épée competition. Rogak proceeded to win three consecutive matches before losing in the round of 16 against the one seed from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mark Shamis ’25 played his first match against Elliot Morgenstern ’22. Shamis ended up winning his first match against his own teammate. After winning one more match, Shamis ultimately fell to the fifth seed from Northeastern University in the round of 16. Josh Shuster ’23 was the third ranked fencer in the competition. He proceeded to breeze through the first three rounds of the competition before he was defeated by the 35th seed. Ben Wang ’24 also passed through the first three rounds. However, he continued onto the round of 16 before being defeated by the 35th seed. Senior Garrett Tordo ’22 was the eleventh seed in the competition, and he proceeded to four consecutive matches to get into the round of eight. Tordo was then beaten by the 35th seed as well. Harrison Kaish ’22, Ethan Hortelano ’25, Tal Kronrod ’25 and Zachary Zhang ’25 rounded out the rest of the men’s épée players from Brandeis. Kronrod made it to the round of 16 before falling to the second seed. 

The men’s saber competition saw three students obtain a medal. Both Tony Escueta ’25 and Berwyn Lu ’24 finished in third place to obtain bronze medals. Lucas Lin ’22 finished just behind them in fifth. Joy Qiu ’25 finished just out of reach for a medal as he ended in ninth place after being defeated in the 16th round by Escueta. Qiu’s only match win of the tournament was against senior Paul Sablone ’22 from Brandeis. Gabe Lobo-Berg ’23 won his first match before losing in the round of 32. Nick Quan ’24 cruised through the first two rounds before facing his teammate Lin. Lin proceeded to knockout Quan to end his day. 

Men’s foil saw seven Brandeis students participate. The team had two medal winners as Elliot Siegel ’23 finished in fifth and first-year Alexander Ma ’25 finished in sixth. Luke Ritchie ’24 was tied for the number one seed in the competition, but he fell in the round of 16 to a student from MIT. Chaemin Daniel Lee ’24 won his first match but lost his second. Griffith Werwa ’25 and Jake Hempe ’23 faced off against each other with Hempe coming out on top. Hempe ended up losing in the following round. Drew Miller ’23 also won in the first round but lost in the second. 

Women’s foil had four students from Brandeis. Alex McKee ’25 had an impressive debut as she started her Brandeis fencing career with a sixth-place finish. This was her first medal of her career. Ellen Zhen ’25 started her career with a match win but ultimately fell in the second round. Alexander Wicken ’23 was the 14th seed and he proceeded to win two rounds to reach the round of 16. He then fell to the third seed from MIT. Rachel Liu ’23 was eliminated in the second round. 

For women’s épée the team had two people win a medal. Bronwyn Rothman-Hall ’25 and Calla Lee ’25 both finished in the top eight to win a medal. Paula Thornton ’23 was the eighth seed but lost to her teammate Lee. The 18th seed was Monica Aponte ’23 and she started off with a win against a student from Northeastern University. She then lost to a student from Boston University. 

The final event of the day was women’s saber. Maggie Shealy ’23 won the entire competition. Shealy won the only gold medal for Brandeis while being the second seed. In her first competition, Kayla Turnof ’25 won two matches to advance to round of eight. It took the one seed from MIT to defeat her. Jada Harrison ’22 won her first two matches but lost to a student from MIT.  

The two teams performed well overall with eleven total medals. Their next competition is for the Western Invitational at Colorado Springs on Nov. 13. 

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