Four fencers reach finals at NCAA regionals

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Four different Brandeis University fencers reached the final rounds of today's NCAA Fencing Northeast Regional championship, with two in good shape for qualification for the national championships later this month and two more in a wait-and-see position.

In men's foil action, junior Julian Cardillo (Medford, Mass./St. John's Prep) looks like a fine bet to reach nationals for the third year in a row in the foil after finishing in seventh place. Seeded 14th headed into the regional meet, Cardillo went 4-2 in the first round to advance in the second position from his pool. He went 3-3 in the second round, claiming the 12th and final spot in the finals on total number of touches. With five wins in the final round, including handing regional champion Brian Kanishige of Harvard his only loss of the finals, 5-4, Cardillo claimed seventh place overall and the sixth qualifying position. He is expected to be the first Brandeis fencer to reach three-straight NCAA championships since Will Friedman '09.

The women's foil also produced a top-12 finisher, as rookie Caroline Mattos (Providence, R.I./LaSalle Acad.) also came in seventh. The tournament's 10th seed, Mattos went 4-2 in the opening round of pool play to advance. In the second round, she was even better, going 5-1, to move into the finals in the fourth position. Mattos posted a 5-6 record in the Final 12, with wins over the fourth-place finisher, Marta Hausman of St. Johns, plus opponents from Yale, Cornell (twice) and Brown to finish seventh overall and in the sixth qualifying position.

Brandeis's top team performance came in the men's sabre, where they had two of the final 12 qualifiers. Sophomore Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./Masters School) was the Judges' top-seeded fencer entering the meet, going in fifth, while classmate Jess Ochs-Willard (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) was 12th. It was Ochs-Willard who was the top performer for the Judges in the opening round, going 5-1, while Mandel was 3-2.  Mandel improved to 4-2 in the second round, while Ochs-Willard was 3-3, as they took the seventh and 11th spots into the finals. The latter made it thanks to a plus-2 indicator. Both picked up three additional wins in the finals. Mandel matched Cardillo's feat of knocking off the eventual regional champion, Darryl Homer of St. John's, 5-4. He also beat foes from Yale and Brown. Ochs-Willard won the head-to-head matchup with his teammate, 5-4, and also defeated opponents from Columbia and Brown. Mandel finished in 10th place over his teammate on indicator (-9 to -17). He currently holds the ninth qualifying position for NCAAs, while Ochs-Willard will be under at-large consideration.

With three expected qualifiers, the Judges could have their largest representation at the NCAA championships – which will be held in San Antonio March 21-24 – since 2009.

In the other three weapons, Brandeis's top finishers were senior Zoe Messinger (Short Hills, N.J./Millburn), who finished 18th in women's sabre; rookie Sonya Glickman (Valhalla, N.Y./Valhalla), who was 20th in women's epee; and rookie Tom Hearne (Holmdel, N.J. / Ranney School) in men's epee, who came in 24th