WALTHAM, Mass. – Three Brandeis University fencers finished among the medalists in their season-opening meet this weekend the 2011 Northeast Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Fall Invitational, also known as The Big One. The Judges earned two silver medals, with junior Vikki Nunley (Glen Gardner, N.J./Voorhees) earning runner-up status in the women's foil and rookie Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./Masters) placing second in the men's saber. Sophomore Julian Cardillo (Medford, Mass./St. Johns Prep), an NCAA qualifier in 2011, earned bronze in the men's foil. Sophomore Kristen Ha (The Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale CDS) was the top epee performer on either side, finishing sixth in the women's draw.
Nunley was particularly dominant in reaching the women's foil finals. In pool play, she went 6-0 and allowed just a single touch in all six bouts combined to share the top seed in the elimination event. She earned a first-round bye before ousting foes from MIT (15-1), Vassar (15-6), MIT again (15-2), Brown (15-13) and New Hampshire (15-5) before bowing to NCAA qualifier Kathryn Hawrot from Brown in the finals by a 15-9 score. Nunley finished with a 10-1 record overall.
In his silver medal performance, Mandel also went 6-0 in pool play, allowing just eight touches against for a +22 indicator. As the third seed in the elimination bracket, he defeated opponents from New Hampshire (15-3), Tufts (15-8), Sacred Heart (15-9), teammate and classmate Jess Ochs-Willard (Montclair, N.Y./Montclair) (15-11) and the top seed from Brown (15-8) before falling to another Sacred Heart opponent in the finals by a 15-4 score, finishing the day with an 11-1 record.
Cardillo also posted a perfect record in pool play in saber, going 6-0 with just seven touches allowed for a +23 indicator to claim the fourth seed in the elimination bracket. After receiving a first-round bye, Cardillo ousted opponents from Boston University (15-4), Rutgers (15-12) and Sacred Heart (15-13) before dropping a 15-11 semifinal to eventual champion Barrett Weiss of Brown.
Ha won her pool with another 6-0 record, though she had to work harder than her teammates, winning four of her matches by 5-4 scores. Ha claimed the eighth seed and defeated opponents from New Hampshire (15-8), Rutgers (15-12) and Massachusetts (15-11) before falling to top-seeded and eventual champ Cory Abbe from Brown 15-10.
For complete results for the Big One, visit http://www.riversidefencingclub.com/neifc/events/2011-fall-invitational-big-one/results. The Judges return to action on November 19 with the first Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the season.