February 12, 2012

Women's fencing tops Air Force, 19-8, finishes 1-4 at Duke

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Brandeis women's fencing team posted a 1-4 record at the 2012 Duke Invitational this weekend, with three of their four losses coming to nationally-ranked teams. THe Judges' only win was an 18-9 triumph over the United State Air Force Academy, while the defeats came at the hands of top-ranked Penn State, 20-7; No. 8 Temple, 18-9; No. 10 Duke, 22-5; and North Carolina, 14-13.

In the match against Air Force, all three Brandeis squads were victorious. Sophomore Leah Mack (Tarrytown, N.Y./Irvington) led the epee squad to the most decisive victory, 7-2, with the Judges' only undefeated record of the match at 3-0, while teammates Kristen Ha (Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale CDS) and Eliza Powell (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclair) were each 2-1. All three saber fencers - juniors Emmily Smith (Stonybrook, N.Y./Ward-Melville) and Zoe Messinger (Short Hills, N.J./Millburn) and sophomore Eunice Ko (Oneonta, N.Y./Staten Island Tech) - went 2-1 in a 6-3 victory, while junior Vikki Nunley (Glen Gardner, N.J./Voorhees) and sophomore Hallie Frank (Dallas, Texas/Greenhill) posted the same record as the foil fencers notched a 5-4 win.

The foil squad picked up the Judges' only other squad victory on the afternoon, defeating UNC, 7-2, as both Nunley and Frank went 3-0, while rookie Jessie Kirshner (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) picked up Brandeis's other point in the weapon. Mack also picked up a 3-0 record against Tar Heels in epee action, where Brandeis suffered a 5-4 defeat, but the Judges were unable to make any noise in saber, where they fell, 7-2, with Messinger picking up both points as they fell to coach Bill Shipman's alma mater.

The saberists did turn Brandeis's best performance in the team's three defeats at the hands of their nationally-ranked opponents, as Messinger's 3-0 record against Temple led the squad in a 5-4 loss. Nunley also went 3-0 against the Owls. Nunley provided two of the team's seven points against Penn State as the Judges' only multiple winner, while no Brandeis fencer recorded more than one win against the host Blue Devils.

For the weekend, the top record was turned in by Nunley, who went 11-3 in foil, while Mack and Messinger were 9-6 in epee and saber action, respectively.

Brandeis returns to action on Tuesday evening at Harvard University for the 2012 Beanpot Tournament against the host Crimson, MIT and BC.