Men's fencing finishes second at Beanpot, women place fourth

Jess Ochs-Willard '15 (Photo by Sportspix/Mike Tureski)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Brandeis University men's fencing team went 2-1 to finish in second place at the 2012 Beanpot Tournament at Harvard on Tuesday evening. It marked the second year in a row that the Judges finished in second place. Brandeis defeated Boston College, 15-12, and MIT, 18-9, before falling to third-ranked Harvard, 22-5. On the women's side, the Judges did not fare as well, going 0-3. Their closest match was against MIT, 19-8, while falling to BC, 19-8, and  No. 7 Harvard, 24-3.

In the opener against BC, the Judges avenged a 16-11 loss from earlier this season. The Judges took two of three weapons, winning saber handily, 7-2, and edging their foes, 5-4, in epee action. The Eagles took epee, 6-3. Rookie saber fencer Jess Ochs-Willard (Montclair, N.J./Montclair) had the team's best record against BC, winning all three bouts, allowing just one touch in his first two wins before a 5-4 win the final rotation to earn the squad's fifth point. Five other Judges went 2-1 on the evening, including two other saber rookies, Adam Mandel (White Plains, N.Y./The Masters School) and Ben Loft (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge); rookie Noah Berman (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) and sophomore Julian Cardillo (Medford, Mass./St. Johns Prep) in foil; and senior Alex Powell (Upper Montclair, N.J/Montclair) in epee.

Against MIT, the Judges again won two out of three weapons. Saber won the first seven bouts in a row for a 7-2 win, led by Mandel's 3-0 record. Berman also went 3-0, leading the foil squad to a 6-3 triumph. Powell also won all three of his bouts, but it wasn't enough for an epee victory, as the Engineers pulled out a 5-4 victory.

In the Harvard match, five different Brandeis fencers earned points for the Judges. Mandel (5-2) and Ochs-Willard (5-4) won their final matches in the saber, Berman won the opening foil bout (5-4) and Powell and junior Mike Zook (Chicago, Ill./Univ. of Chicago Lab School) captured epee matches, 5-1 and 5-2, respectively.

For the entire tournament, Powell, Berman, Ochs-Willard and Mandel all tied with six wins on the evening. Ochs-Willard went 6-2, while the other three were 6-3 for the meet.

On the women's side, the Judges had two weapon wins. Junior Vikki Nunley (Glen Gardner, N.J./Voorhees) and rookie Jessie Kirshner (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) each went 2-1 to help the foil squad get past BC, 5-4, with sophomore Hallie Frank (Dallas, Texas/Greenhill) winning her final match, 3-1, for the fifth point. Against MIT, epee squad sophomores Kristen Ha (Bronx, N.Y./Riverdale CDS) and  Leah Mack (Tarrytown, N.Y./Irvington) were 2-1, with rookie Eliza Powell (Upper Montclair, N.J./Montclar) securing the 5-4 win with a 5-3 victory. Mack and Ha were also responsible for all three of the team's points in the loss to Harvard. Overall for the meet, Ha led the team with five wins, while Frank and Mack had four wins apiece.