Judges defeat No. 10 Duke, roll to perfect record at the Duke Invitational

Julian Cardillo '14
Julian Cardillo '14

DURHAM, N.C. - The Brandeis men's fencing team went 5-0 at the Duke Invitational on Friday, including the Judges' first victory over the Blue Devils since 2006. Brandeis had a number of fine performances in all three weapons, but was led by a 15-0 record in foil by senior captain Julian Cardillo (Medford, Mass./St. John's Prep).

The Brandeis men defeated Johns Hopkins, UNC, Air Force, Duke and MIT. The women's team competes at the Invitational tomorrow.

Brandeis' first match after the lunch break was against the Blue Devils. The Duke men entered the meet with a 15-5 record and ranked No. 10 in the country after upsetting No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 9 Stanford the weekend before.

"I was on our guys to finish eating quickly and start getting ready, and I think we caught Duke by surprise," Cardillo said after the meet. "We chipped away at them from the beginning and got some great wins."

The epee and foil squads were the first to face Duke and got off to a scorching start, jumping out to a combined 10-1 record. Cardillo, junior Noah Berman (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) and junior Ethan Levy (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South) went a combined 8-1 in foil, while Tom Hearne (Holmdel, N.J./Ranney School) picked up two huge bouts to lead epee to a 4-5 finish.

The men were up 12-5 after foil and epee and needed just two more victories in to clinch the match, but faced one of the top saber squads in the country in Duke. The Blue Devils won the first four saber bouts to cut the Judges' lead to 12-9.

"There was so much energy in the room because it was a Duke home meet," Cardillo said. "They got loud and we were all cheering on our end as well. It was really intense."

Junior All-American Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./Masters School) defeated Duke junior Eugene Chung (Shady Grove, Md./Sherwood), 5-2, to push Brandeis' magic number to one. After another Duke win, junior Jess Ochs-Willard (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) defeated Chung, 5-3, to clinch the match. Mandel won his final bout as well for a 15-12 win.

It was the Judges' first victory against the Blue Devils since a 16-11 win in February, 2006.

The Judges started the day with a routine 18-9 against Hopkins, as all three weapons went 6-3. Berman, Cardillo and Hearne won all three of their bouts against the Blue Jays.

Brandeis then defeated UNC and Air Force by identical 17-10 scores. Cardillo and Mandel won all six of their bouts, while Berman won five. Sophomore Ari Feingersch (Coral Springs, Fla./J.P. Taravella) went 2-1 against both the Tar Heels and Falcons to lead the epee squad.

After the Duke match, Brandeis closed with a 16-11 victory against MIT. Brandeis went 5-4 in saber and epee, while the foil squad again impressed, finishing 6-3. Cardillo and Feingersch won all three of their bouts, while Mandel and rookie foil Len Grazian (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) won two.

"This was a great performance by our men's team," coach Bill Shipman said. "We started off well against Hopkins and our momentum built through the UNC meet, who we had not beaten recently. We took a big early lead against Duke. Clearly they would come back, but we held them off in saber for the win.

"They have been looking forward to this meet all season, and they brought home a memorable result."

The Judges continue their season at the Beanpot Tournament on Wednesday. Brandeis will face Boston College, Harvard, and host MIT.


Jeffrey Boxer