HOLYOKE, Mass. – The Brandeis University fencing teams were unable to defend their New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference championships on Saturday, as the Judges finished fourth overall. The men were fourth and the women fifth in the three-weapon standings.
The top performances for Brandeis were turned in by the men's foil squad, as the Judges tied with Sacred Heart and earned the top spot on number of touches scored – both teams were +76 on indicator with the Judges recording 137 touches to 135 to the Pioneers. Men's saber finished second, one victory behind Vassar, and men's epee took sixth place. On the women's side epee was the top squad with a fourth-place finish, while foil was seventh and saber 10th.
Individually, the top performances came in the men's foil, where rookie Alek Broszkowski (Haworth, N.J. / Northern Valley Regional) finished in second place and sophomore Sam Chestna (Middleboro, Mass. / Homeschooled) earned bronze. Broszkowski was seeded second in the single-elimination draw after going 4-1 in pool play, while Chestna was sixth after going 3-2. They both defeated their quarterfinal opponents by a 15-9 scored, then Broszkowski defeated his teammate 15-6 in the semifinals. Noe Berger of Vassar won the title of the Brandeis rookie, 15-10.
In men's saber, senior Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet School) earned another silver. Berney went 4-1 in the preliminary rounds to earn the second seed. He won his first two matches 15-7 and 15-5 before falling the gold medal match to top-seeded Evin Heintz of Vassar. Senior Curtis Wilson (Denver, Colo. / Kent Denver) also reached the direct elimination phase as the eighth seed, falling to Heintz, 15-12, in the opening round.
Senior Hunter Stusnick (New Vernon, N.J. / Chatham) led the men's epee squad in ninth place. The women's squad, battling injuries and illness, had just one fencer crack the top 10, as rookie Jamie Noh (New York, N.Y. / Brearley) was ninth in the epee.
The Brandeis women have a series of dual matches at FCU-Teaneck on Sunday afternoon before Brandeis hosts the NCAA Northeast Regional in Waltham on Sunday, March 11.