Fencing wins Northeast Fencing Conference women's and combined titles

Nina Sayles '17 had a dramatic win against BC to help clinch the NFC crown (photo by Sportspix.com)
Nina Sayles '17 had a dramatic win against BC to help clinch the NFC crown (photo by Sportspix.com)

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – At the second Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the season on Saturday at Boston College, the Brandeis fencing teams clinched two league titles and another second-place finish. The Judges combined for a 9-2 record, with the women going 5-1 to finish the NFC season at 11-1, while the men went 4-1 to finish 9-1 in the conference.

The women clinched their first NFC title since 2010 with a dramatic 14-13 win over host Boston College, while the 20-2 combined record for the two squads gave Brandeis its first combined team title since 2009, when they won their third-straight title.

In their fourth-round match against BC, the women needed a win against the otherwise unbeaten Eagles to claim a share of the title. The foil squad came through with an 8-1 victory, while the epee squad were narrowly defeated, 5-4. In sabre action, the Judges were without sophomoreAshley Jean (Norwood, Mass./Fontbonne Acad.) and suffered a 7-2 defeat, but it was a dramatic victory by junior Nina Sayles (Mamaroneck, N.Y. / Loomis-Chaffee) that clinched the win. Trailing 0-4 to BC's Laura Donovan, Sayles scored five unanswered touches to score Brandeis's 14th point.

The women's lone loss on the day was a narrow defeat to Brown, with each weapon decided by a 5-4 score.  The Judges earned the win in epee, but fell in foil and sabre. The Judges also posted victories over Vassar, 15-12 (F, 5-4; E, 4-5; S, 6-3) and Tufts, 18-9 (F, 6-3; E, 7-2; S, 5-4) in varsity matches and Smith, 22-5 (F, 6-3; E, 9-0; S, 7-2) and Dartmouth, 21-6 (F, 8-1; E, 8-1; S, 5-4), both club squads.

On the men's side, the Judges also had a 14-13 win, topping  Vassar thanks to an 8-1 performance in foil, offsetting 6-3 defeats in epee and sabre. Against BC, the Judges edged the Eagles, 15-12. The teams split epee and sabre by 5-4 scores, with Brandeis taking sabre and BC taking epee. The foil squad provided the margin of victory with a 6-3 win.

The Judges also prevailed over club squads from Dartmouth, 22-5 (F, 8-1; E, 8-1; S, 6-3)and Tufts, 20-7 (F, 9-0; E, 6-3; S, 5-4). Their lone loss was also a 14-13 decision against Brown, with sabre taking a 7-2 win for the Judges, while the Bears won epee by the same scored and foil, 5-4.

Individually, the best performance of the day went to sophomore foil Elishua Litle (Haifa, Israel/Reali Beit Beram) who was undefeated at 11-0 and led his squad to a 4-1 mark. Squadmate and rookie Charles Wells (Melville, NY / Half Hollow Hills East) posted a 10-4 mark. Sophomore Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet) matched Wells at 10-4 in sabre, while sophomore Curtis Wilson (Denver, Colo. / Kent Denver) was 9-5 for the 4-1 sabre squad.

On the women's side, senior Sonya Glickman (Valhalla, N.Y. / Valhalla) led the team with 11 wins, going 11-4 in epee, matched by Sayles, who was 11-6 overall. Seniors Emilia Dwyer (New York, N.Y./Hunter H.S.) and Caroline Mattos (Providence, R.l./LaSalle Acad.) each went 7-2 in foil for the top winning percentage on the day.

The Judges return home next Saturday afternoon for the 2016 Eric Sollee Invitational, when they will meet Stevens, NJIT, Haverford, NYU and Hunter. The match against NYU will be for theUniversity Athletic Association title.

Brandeis will also host the 2016 NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships on March 24-27, when college's best fencers from schools like Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State will come to the Gosman Athletic Center. More information on the NCAA Fencing Championships can be found at www.brandeisjudges.com/NCAAFencing2016