Brandeis Fencers Claim Six UAA Athlete of the Week Honors

WALTHAM, Mass.- Over the past three weeks, five different Brandeis University fencers have been selected as University Athletic Association (UAA) Fencers of the Week. Rookie Noah Berman and sophomore Leah Mack were honored on Jan. 30, while rookie Adam Mandel and senior Alex Powell were recognized on Feb. 6. This week, Berman was honored for the second time this season, while junior Vikki Nunley earned the distinction for the first time in 2011-12.

      Berman was named Athlete of the Week for the weeks of January 30th and February 13th 2012. At the second Northeast Conference Meet of the season, the rookie foil fencer went 9-3 in his first collegiate competition as the Judges went 3-2 overall at the meet. At the 2012 Duke Invitational, he had an 11-4 record while helping the team to a 2-3 performance. He was undefeated (3-0) against host Duke and Johns Hopkins, 2-1 against Air Force and North Carolina, and 1-2 against top-ranked Penn State while earning his squad's only victory in that matchup. On the year, the rookie foil is 35-14 with seven undefeated performances despite only joining the team in January. Berman is a 2011 graduate of Palo Alto High School. He is the son of Stuart Berman and June Bower, Palo Alto, Calif.  

Mack was named Athlete of the Week for the week of January 30th for her performance at the second Northeast Conference Meet of the season. The sophomore epee fencer had the best day of any Brandeis fencer with a 12-6 record as she led her squad to a 4-2 record on the day. As a team, the Judges went 3-3 at the meet with wins over Smith College, Dartmouth College, and Tufts University. She has been excellent all season and is currently tied for the team lead with 52 wins. Mack is a 2010 graduate of Irvington High School. She is the daughter of David and Leslie Mack, Tarrytown, N.Y.

Mandel was named Athlete of the Week on February 6th for his exceptional performance at the Eric Sollee Invitational. The rookie saberist posted a 10-1 record on the day including perfect 3-0 matches against rival NYU and Johns Hopkins. His efforts helped Brandeis to a 3-1 day with their only loss coming to seventh-ranked University of Pennsylvania. He was finally rewarded for a terrific year in which he has posted 52 wins, tied for the team lead, and the best winning percentage with just 14 losses. Mandel is a 2011 graduate of The Masters School. He is the son of Eric and Karen Mandel, White Plains, N.Y.  


Powell was named Athlete of the Week on February 6th for his performance at the Eric Sollee Invitational as well. The senior epee fencer compiled a 10-4 record on the day including a win that decided a match. With the Judges tied 13-13 against Johns Hopkins, Powell faced off against his opponent for the deciding match and blanked him for a 5-0 victory, earning the 14-13 win for Brandeis. The Judges went 4-1 on the day and enjoyed terrific performances from Powell the whole way. He has compiled a 46-29 record throughout the year to go with nine undefeated performances to lead the epee squad. Powell is a 2008 graduate of Montclair High School. He is the son of Matthew and Ronnie Powell, Upper Montclair, N.J.

Nunley was named Athlete of the Week on February 13th for her performance at the 2012 Duke Invitational. Nunley earned a team-high 11 victories to go with just three losses as her squad contributed the only win in Brandeis' four losses. The junior foil fencer was 3-0 against eighth-ranked Temple and North Carolina, 2-1 against top-ranked Penn State and the U.S. Air Force Academy, and 1-1 against host and 10th-ranked Duke. Nunley has had a terrific season with 11 undefeated performances and a team-leading winning percentage with a 43-16 record overall despite missing time due to illness. Nunley is a 2009 graduate of Voorhees High School. She is the daughter of William and Rosialia Nunley, Glen Garden, N.J.

So far this year, the Men's Fencing team has gone 15-12 including a 7-3 record in the Northeast Fencing Conference. The epee squad led by Powell has performed admirably while a sabre squad led by Mandel and classmate Jess Ochs-Willard (44-22) and a foil squad led by Berman and sophomore Julian Cardillo (52-20) has helped the Judges to a successful season. Most recently, the men went 2-1 at the Beanpot Tournament with wins over Boston College and MIT to secure second place.

The Women's Fencing team has compiled a 10-21 record, going 7-5 at the two Northeast Conference Meets. An epee squad led by Mack and classmate Kristin Ha who has 44 wins on the year has been the most successful squad but the saber squad led by junior Zoe Messinger (52 wins) and classmate Emmily Smith (37 wins) has been keeping pace. The foil squad led by Nunley (43 wins) has performed admirably as well with sophomore Hallie Frank (28 wins) contributing successfully throughout the year.