Men's fencers top #9 Duke for second straight year, going 5-1 at Sollee Invite

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- The Brandeis men's sabre squad went 5-1 to lead the Judges to the same overall record on Sunday at the 2015 Eric Sollee Invitational at MIT. 

The highlight of the meet was a 15-12 win in the second round of the day over ninth-ranked Duke, as all three weapon squads defeated the Blue Devils by a 5-4 score. The win marks the second year in a row that the Judges defeated Duke, having done so in North Carolina last season. Duke had handed Brandeis a 17-10 defeat two weeks prior at Air Force's Western Invitational, but the Judges bounced back with the weapon sweep. 

In sabre action, the Judges won five of the first seven matches, with senior Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./Masters School) earning the winning point, 5-2, while rookie Albert Reiss (Short Hills, N.J./Millburn) did the same for epee, 5-3, to give Brandeis a 5-2 lead in that weapon. Foil came down to the final rotation, where senior Ethan Levy (Great Neck, N.Y./Great Neck South) and rookie Guillermo Narvaez (Metepec, Mexico / Technologico de Monterrey) snapped a 3-3 tie with wins of 5-1 and 5-3. 

Brandeis opened the day with a 16-11 win over Stevens Tech, with sabre (8-1) and foil (6-3) overcoming a 2-7 defeat in epee. Mandel, senior sabre fencer Jess Ochs-Willard (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) and senior foilist Noah Berman (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) each went 3-0. 

The Judges saw a narrow defeat in the third round against UAA rival NYU. The Judges won 5-4 in epee, while the Violets won by the same score in foil. In sabre action, the foes from the Big Apple went 6-3, despite a pair of wins from Mandel. Also going 2-1 against NYU were Berman in foil and junior Tom Hearne (Holmdel, N.J./Ranney School) and rookie Hunter Stusnick (New Vernon, N.J./Chatham) in epee.

In the fourth round, Brandeis took a 16-11 decision from Haverford, coached by Chris Spencer '94. After the epee squad fell to the Ford, 4-5, foil and sabre each won, 6-3, to take the victory. Ochs-Willard and Mandel each went 2-0 in sabre, while Levy and sophomore Len Grazian (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) were 2-1 in foil.

The fifth round was a 24-3 rout of Yeshiva, featuring a 9-0 sabre sweep, while the final round of the day was a 14-13 nailbiter over New Jersey Institute of Technology, with an 8-1 sabre win offsetting losses by foil and epee. Ochs-Willard and Mandel were each 3-0 against the Highlanders, while rookie Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet School) was 2-1. 

For the day, the best record was turned in by Mandel, who went 12-2 in sabre, while Stusnick was 7-3 in epee action before suffering an injury. 

The sabre squad also lifted Brandeis to a 16-11 win over NYU at Brandeis on Saturday afternoon. Berney, junior Eric Shen (Mountainside, N.J. / Governor Livingston) and rookie Curtis Wilson (Denver, Colo. / Kent Denver) were undefeated in the tuneup, as the 9-0 mark was paired with just enough wins in foil (4-5) and epee (3-6) for the victory. Stusnick had all three epee wins, while Grazian posted three of the four foil triumphs. 

The Judges return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 11, when they host local rivals Boston College, Harvard and MIT in the Beanpot Tournament.