The Brandeis University fencing team earned four medals, two golds, a silver and a bronze in their 2022-23 season opener. Additionally, the Judges placed seventh in the quarterfinals of the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference (NEIFC) Fall Championships which was held at Smith College.
The women’s fencing squad was led by senior Maggie Shealy ’23 who swept her competition in pool play, 6-0; she had a +25-indicator allowing her to earn the joint second seed in the elimination table. Shealy defended her title proudly, allowing none of her matches to be within six touches; that was until Shealy faced MIT in the finals, where she defeated her opponent by one touch, 15-14, earning the gold in the women’s sabre. First-year teammate Hannah Du ’26 took fifth place in the women’s foil after earning the joint-third seed, but unfortunately was upset 15-12 in the quarterfinals. Senior teammate Monica Aponte ’23 placed eighth in the elimination tournament but was able to finish in seventh in the quarterfinals.
The Brandeis men’s fencing squad was also successful, as first-year Lev BenAvram ’26 captured the Judges’ second gold medal of the day in men’s sabre competition; BenAvram was the second seed, behind teammate Tony Escueta ’25. BenAvram, Escueta and teammate Berwyn Lu ’24 had identical undefeated records in pool play, with each going 6-0. Escueta finished with a +26 indicator, BenAvram with +22 and Lu with +21. While BenAvram faced little adversity throughout the tournament, Escueta was unfortunately upset in the quarterfinals 15-10 by an opponent from Northeastern University.
The remaining two medals were earned in the men’s epee competition, where Tal Kronrod ’25 earned silver and Josh Shuster ’23 earned bronze. Kronrod was seeded 17th, but he defeated higher seeds in the round of 32, 16, quarterfinals and semifinals, before falling to the 10th-seeded opponent from Sacred Heart University who earned the gold in the men’s epee competition. Additionally, the Brandeis men’s fencing squad earned three quarterfinal appearances in the foil competition, with veteran Elliott Siegel ’23 and first-year Michael Yerokhin ’26 tying for sixth; Luke Ritchie ’24 earned eight place to cap off a successful tournament for the Brandeis Judges.
Following their victorious opening conference, the Judges traveled to Boston College, where they competed in the Beanpot Tournament against Boston College, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The men’s team was led by BenAvram, as he swept MIT and Boston College 3-0 each, while also defeating Harvard 2-1 in the men’s sabre competition. Escueta also found success against MIT and Harvard, with the same 3-0, 2-1 results respectively, but Escueta was unable to defeat Boston College in two matches. Overall, the men’s team went 0-3 at the Beanpot Tournament after falling 13-14 against MIT, 10-17 against Boston College and 9-18 against Harvard. The women’s team was led by Shealy with a record of 5-4. She went 2-1 against MIT and 3-0 against Boston College. Senior Sammy Shortall ’23 also found success, going 2-1 against MIT and getting a point against Harvard. Overall the team went 0-3 at the Beanpot Tournament after falling to MIT 12-15, Boston College 11-16 and Harvard 2-25.
The Brandeis Judges look to continue their success in the first Northeast Fencing Conference of the season which will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. Both the Brandeis men and women will face opponents from Sacred Heart University, University of Massachusetts, University of New Hampshire, Boston University and Brown University.