BURLINGTON, Vt. – For the first time since 2014, the Brandeis fencing team won the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference championship, as the Judges edged second-place MIT, 171-169. Brandeis won the women's overall three-weapon crown for the first time since 2013, 89-86, over MIT and BC. The men were fourth in the three-weapon standings by just one bout victory and two touches on indicator as BC and MIT tied for first with 83, while Brandeis and Vassar each had 82. The Judges also won team weapon gold in women's foil and men's saber and individual golds in both women's and men's foil. The event was held at the University of Vermont.
In women's foil action, sophomore Joanne Carminucci (Brewster, N.Y./North Salem) went 12-1 in the team competition to help the women's foil squad to a five-point margin of victory over Vassar, 33-28. That qualified her for the individual bracket, where she went 3-2 in pool play to earn the sixth seed in the direct elimination. Carminucci faced the top three seeds in the bracket, defeating Juliet Hewes of Tufts, 15-9, in the quarterfinals; Sophia Russo of MIT, 15-6, in semis; and Jesicca Li, also of the Engineers, 15-11, in the finals to take the crown. Rookie Jessica Gets (Morganville, N.J./Marlborough) also medaled for the women, going 11-2 in the team competition and 3-2 in individual pool play. Gets knocked off Dartmouth's Phoebe Liang in the quarters before falling to Li in the semifinals.
The team's other individual crown went to men's rookie Ian Quin (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) in the foil. Quin led the team to second place in the individual standings by posting a 10-1 record in team competition as the Judges finished one point behind Vassar, 29-28. Quin reached the individual competition and, like his teammate on the women's side, went 3-2 to claim the sixth seed. After knocking off BC's Zach Hammer, 15-10, in the opening round, Quin faced junior teammate Elishua Litle (Haifa, Israel / Reali - Beit Beram) in the semifinals and edged his counterpart, 15-13. In the finals, Quin met Sacred Heart's Tyler Endee and picked up a 15-10 win to claim gold.
Brandeis's second squad title came in men's saber, where the Judges tied Boston College, 31-31, but won the indicator by seven, 113-106. Junior Curtis Wilson (Denver, Colo./Kent Denver) and rookie Leon Rotenstein (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) each went 11-1, while junior Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet School) was 9-2 in the team competition to qualify for the individual bracket. Berney swept the competition in individual pool play to earn the second seed, while Rotenstein and Wilson were each 3-2 to earn the fifth and sixth seeds. Wilson fell in the first round, but Rotenstein won 15-11 and Berney, 15-8, setting up a meeting between the two in the semis, where the newcomer scored the final touch to defeat his teammate, 15-14. In the title match, MIT's Tzer Wong took a 15-12 victory as Rotenstein earned silver.
The women's epee squad earned silver for the team, while junior Liz Feller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) claimed individual silver. Feller was second in her pool in team competition at 11-2, while rookie Dakota Levy (Merion Station, Pa. / Barrack) went 10-1 in hers to also earn a spot in the individual tournament. Both went 3-2 in individual pool play, earning the third and fifth seeds respectively. Levy fell in the first round, but Feller defeated Olivia Weiss of Vassar, 15-11, and Samantha Abbott of Sacred Heart, 15-10, to reach the finals. MIT's Helen Sakharova won gold as the finals reached their time limit, 13-12.
The women's saber squad finished in fourth place, with senior Nina Sayles (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Loomis Chaffee) placing third overall, while men's epee was fifth as a team and junior Hunter Stusnick (New Vernon, N.J. / Chatham) sixth in the individual standings.
Brandeis returns to action next weekend at Yale for the NCAA Northeast Regional championships, where they will hope to qualify for the NCAA National Collegiate Championships in Indianapolis from March 23rd through the 26th.