Fencers open season with two gold, eight medals at The Big One

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – The Brandeis University fencing team opened its 2017-18 season by claiming eight medals at the New England Fall Collegiate Invitational, also known as The Big One. The Judges took home a pair of golds, as junior Joanne Carminucci (Brewster, N.Y./North Salem) and sophomore Ian Quin (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) claimed victory in the women's and men's foil brackets collectively. Brandeis's other six medals were all bronze – two in men's sabre, one each in men's epee and foil, and one each in women's epee and foil.

Carminucci, who reached the quarterfinals last year,  earned the fourth seed by going 6-0 with a +24 indicator in pool play. In the direct elimination draw, she knocked off Priya Sankar of Dartmouth, 15-13, in the opening round; Gabrielle Petrie of Sacred Heart, 15-8, in the second round; and Rebekah Kahn of host Smith, 15-12, in the quarterfinals. Carminucci  met top-seeded Kayla Moy of Boston College in the semifinals and rolled to a 15-6 win, setting a final meeting with Bailey Partridge of Sacred Heart. Carminucci picked up a 15-10 victory to earn her second career gold, to go with the one she captured at last years NEIFC Championships at the end of the season. Brandeis also had a semifinalist in sophomore Hannah Mui (New Hope, Pa./New Hope-Solesbury) Mui was seeded 10th going 5-1 with a +20 indicator. She defeated foes from New Hampshire (15-6) and Vassar (15-3) in the early rounds before getting into the semis when an MIT fencer withdrew.  Mui battled SHU's Partridge before falling, 15-10, in the semis.

On the men's side, Quin joined Carminucci as winner after having also done so at last year's NEIFC. Quin went 6-0 in pool play and earned the sixth seed with a +21 indicator. He opened with a 15-2 defeat of Van Naldoza of BU then topped sophomore teammate Trevor Filseth (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto), 15-4, in the second. Quin picked up back-to-back 15-12 wins over Christopher McKinney of MIT and Cameron Mayer of BC to reach the semifinals. Quin upended another teammate, senior Elishua Litle (Haifa, Israel/Reali Beit Beiram), 15-8, in the semis.  Quin completed the run to gold with a  15-6 win over BU's Zachary Hammer. Litle had shared the top seed with Sacred Heart's Tyler Endee, one of the top foil fencers in the region. Endee was eliminated in the second round by rookie Jared Sugarman (Scarsdale, N.Y. / Scarsdale), 15-9.  

The Judges other medals were all bronzes. In the men's saber, sophomore Leon Rotenstein (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) and rookie Garrett Tordo (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) reached the semifinals as the top seed and 18th seed respectively. Rotenstein went 6-0 with a +26 indicator to earn the top spot, while Tordo defeated the second seed from Vassar, Eli Polston, 15-6, in the quarters. In men's epee, senior Hunter Stusnick (New Vernon, N.J. / Chatham) made the semifinal round as the 10th seed, taking out co-top-seeded Troy Kapitze of SHU, 15-14, in the quarters. Senior Liz Feller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) reached the semis as the eighth seed in the women's epee bracket. She took down top-seeded Ella Morgan of BC in the quarterfinals.

The Judges return to action in two weeks at the first Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the season at Brown on Nov. 18.