Sabre squad takes bronze at NIWFA Championships

Kat Xikes '26 (fifth from left) and Kayla Turnoff '25 (sixth from left)
Kat Xikes '26 (fifth from left) and Kayla Turnoff '25 (sixth from left)

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's fencing team continued its postseason at the National Intercollegiate Women's Fencing Association (NIWFA) championships at Drew University today.


  • The Judges were highlighted by the sabre squad, which claimed bronze despite competing without senior All-American Maggie Shealy (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill). First-year Kat Xikes (Chatham, N.J. / Chatham) and sophomores Calla Lee (Duluth, Ga. / Lambert) and Kayla Turnof (Westfield, N.J. / Kent Place School) posted 35 wins out of their 45 individual bouts.
  • In head-to-head competition, the squad won nine head-to-head matches by 3-0 scores, and four others, 2-1. Their only losses came to gold medalists Temple and silver medalists John Hopkins, who finished with 41 and 37 points, respectively.
  • The foil squad finished in fifth place out of 16 teams, posting 32 points. The epee squad placed ninth overall with 24 points.
  • Five Judges qualified for the individual competition. Xikes and Turnoff just missed the podium, finishing in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Turnof, seeded fifth, defeated her opponent from Haverford, 15-9, in the first round, but fell by the same score to the fourth seed from Wagner College. Xikes was the second seed and won her first round, 15-8, over a Johns Hopkins fencer, but she was upset in the quarters, 15-14, by the 10th seed from Stevens.
  • Epee junior Bronwyn Rothman-Hall (San Francisco, Calif. / Ruth Asawa School of the Arts) was seeded 12th in her bracket, but she pulled a 15-14 upset over a fencer from Rutgers in the opening round before falling 15-9 to the eventual silver medalist from LIU, 15-9. Rothman Hall finished in eighth place.
  • Foil first-year fencer Hannah Du (Winchester, Mass. / Winchester) claimed the fourth seed in her direct elimination bracket, but she suffered a 15-14 upset at the hands of the 13th seed from Temple. 11th-seeded sophomore Alex McKee (Nyack, N.Y. / Nyack) dropped a 15-4 decision to the sixth seed from LIU in the first round.


  • The Judges are at Harvard next weekend for the NCAA Regional Championships.