Fencers finish 21st at NCAA Championships

Noah Berman '15 and Adam Mandel '15 at the NCAA Championships (photo by Adam Levin '94)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Brandeis University men's fencers had a greatly improved second day of action at the 2014 NCAA Championships at the Ohio State University today. Junior sabre fencer Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./The Masters School) earned five wins to finish with nine victories overall. Classmate and foil fencer Noah Berman (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) notched three wins on Day Four of the championships and five overall to come in 23rd place. As a team, along with sophomore women's foilist Caroline Mattos (Cumberland, R.I./La Salle Acad.), who scored four points on the first two days of action (click here for more), the Judges scored 18 points and finished 21st overall out of 25 schools represented.

After posting a 4-9 record on Day Three of action, Mandel posted a 5-3 mark on Day Four. Mandel could easily have finished much higher, as five of his nine first-day losses were by a 5-4 score. He was tied among four others with nine wins in the tournament, earning 15th place by virtue of the -10 touch differential his close bouts gave him. Mandel finished two wins shy of his 2013 NCAA championship total, when he was 12th overall and claimed All-America honors. Mandel's top individual win came against Columbia University's Geoffrey Loss, a 5-3 win over the Northeast regional champ who placed seventh at the NCAAs. He also picked up a sweep of fencers from Yale and individual wins over All-Americans Chris Monti of Duke (5-3) and Steven Yang of Pennsylvania (5-2), who were eighth and 11th, respectively. Mandel also topped foes from Cal-San Diego, NYU, host Ohio State and Notre Dame. Mandel also gave finalst Ferenc Valkai of St. John's a run for his money in a 5-4 loss.

Berman, who made his first appearance at NCAAs, earned just two wins in 13 bouts on Day One of the NCAAs, but picked up three more in eight bouts on the second day of action. Berman opened his championship with an outstanding 5-0 win over NYU's Christian Vastola, but he dropped nine in a row before his next win over Michael Dudey of Princeton, who went on to finish in seventh place. Berman's three win on Day Four came against opponents from UPenn, New Jersey Institute of Technology and St. John's University. Berman's 5-4 win over Max Blitzer of the Red Storm was his second over an All-American, as Blitzer placed 12th overall.

Brandeis's 18 team points were one fewer than their total from 2013, but their 21st-place finish was the same. Coach Bill Shipman's Judges were second among Division III programs at the championships, behind MIT's 24 points, which were good for 18th place. Brandeis was six points ahead of UAA rival NYU in the standings and two points behind Cornell. Among New England schools, Brandeis finished behind Harvard (5th place, 146 points); Sacred Heard (11th, 50 points); Yale (12th, 46 points); Brown (15th, 36 points) and MIT (18th, 24 points). Penn State won the title with 180 points over defending champions Princeton, which had 159.

NCAA NATIONAL COLLEGIATE FENCING CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State University)

1                              Penn State          180

2                              Princeton            159

3                              St. John's             156

4                              Ohio State           149

5                              Harvard                146

6                              Notre Dame       138

7                              Columbia             107

8                              Pennsylvania     89

9                              Stanford              82

10                           Duke     62

11                           Sacred Heart      50

12                           Yale        46

13                           Temple 41

14                           Air Force              39

15                           Brown   36

16                           Northwestern   35

17                           Wayne State      25

18                           M.I.T.    24

19                           North Carolina   23

20                           Cornell  20

21                           Brandeis              18

22                           NYU       12

23                           NJIT       8

24                           Cal- San Diego   6

25                           Cleveland State                5