Narvaez takes gold in men's foil as Judges place third at NEIFC championships

Guillermo Narvaez '18 (photo by Tureski)
Guillermo Narvaez '18 (photo by Tureski)

WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Brandeis University fencing teams placed third in both men's and women's three-weapon standings and in the overall six-weapon rankings, while the Judges earned four medals overall at the 2016 New England Intercollegiate Fencing Championships held at Wellesley College on Saturday afternoon.

The men's foil squad led the way for the Judges, going 27-3 during the prelim round to finish in first place. The trio of sophomores Elishua Litle (Haifa, Israel / Reali - Beit Beram) andGuillermo Narvaez (Metepec, Mexico / Technologico de Monterrey) and senior Toby Gray (Keene, N.H./Keene) each went 9-1 in initial pool play to help the Judges to victory. All three then qualified for the direct elimination draw as well, with Narvaez (4-1) claiming the second seed, Gray (3-2) the sixth and Litle (2-3) the seventh. Litle was unable to compete in the DE round, granting Narvaez a bye into the semifinals, while Gray suffered a 15-7 defeat in the quarters. Narvaez avenged his teammate in the semifinals with a 15-10 win over BU's Sidney Leung before going on to take gold with a 15-9 victory over Tom Racek of Vassar.

The women's sabre squad finished second in their weapon standings with a 26-8 record behind BC's 32-2 mark. Senior Deb Abiri (Old Westbury, N.Y. / North Shore) and sophomore Laura Broffman (East Norwich, N.Y. / Oyster Bay) each finished second in their pool to earn a spot in the second round, going 10-2 and 8-2, respectively. Junior Nina Sayles (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Loomis Chafee)  went 8-4 in the A pool to earn one of the final spots in the second round. Sayles and Abiri each earn a spot in the final eight, with Abiri falling to the top seed in the quarterfinals, but Sayles upset the third-seed Laura Donovan, 15-10, to reach the semifinals, where she dropped a 15-9 match second seed and eventual champion Katherine Mentzer of Dartmouth.

The women's epee, women's foil and men's sabre squad each finished in third place in their weapon standings. The Judges produced two medalists from those three weapons. Senior Caroline Mattos (Cumberland, R.I./LaSalle Acad.) went 10-1 in the opening round and 4-1 in the second round to earn the top seed in the elimination bracket. She cruised to the semifinals with a 15-4 win and won, 15-8, to reach the finals, where the final touch went to her opponent, Jessica Li of MIT in a 15-14 decision, giving Mattos the silver medal.

In men's sabre action,  sophomore Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet School)posted a 7-3 record in pool play and went 4-1 in the second round to claim the third seed in the direct elimination. He won his opening bout, 15-8, before falling to eventual champion Tzer Wong of MIT, 15-10, in the semifinals to finish with a bronze medal.

Brandeis is off until February 28, when they will head to Princeton University for the U.S. Squad Championships.  Brandeis will be hosting the 2016 NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championship on March 24-27, 2016, when the top collegiate fencers from Division I, II and III come to the Gosman Athletic Center. For more information visit