Litle finishes 10th, Rotenstein 11th at Regionals

UPDATE, March 13, 4 p.m.: The NCAA Fencing Championships field has been released and junior Joanne Carminucci's eighth-place finish at regionals was not enough to get her into the championships. The NCAA weights the regular-season as well as the regional championships, and Joanne's high finish at regionals was not enough to surpass some fencers with higher performances during the regular season. Eli Litle and Leon Rotenstein also did not receive at-large berths to NCAAs.

ORIGINAL RELEASE: Brandeis University junior Joanne Carminucci (Brewster, N.Y./North Salem) put herself in position to reach the NCAA National Collegiate Fencing Championships today with a fine performance at the Northeast Regional today. With the meet held on her home floor of the Gosman Athletic Center, Carminucci has a chance to be the first Judge to reach nationals since 2014.

Seeded 17th in the women's foil, Carminucci earned a bye into the second round of competition. She posted a 4-2 record in the round of 35 to reach the semifinals as the eighth seed. In the semifinal round, she topped two opponents from Harvard and one each from Brown and Wellesley to move on to the final 12 in the fifth position.  Carminucci went 5-6 among the final 12 to finish in eighth place overall. Her wins came against two opponents from Columbia and one each from Yale, Wellesley and Cornell.

With Columbia fencers taking up four of the top eight slots – two over the maximum qualifiers - Carminucci is all but assured of a berth at the NCAA Fencing Championships, which will be held at Penn State University on March 22 through 25. She can be the first Judge to reach the national championships since Caroline Mattos '16 in 2014, who also competed in foil. The announcement of the field will be made official on Tuesday afternoon.

Sophomore Leon Rotenstein (Ashland, Mass./Ashland) reached the final round in the men's saber competition. Seeded 16th, Rotenstein went 2-3 in the opening round and snuck into the semifinals on indicator with the 21st and final spot. Senior teammate Kyle Berney (Shreveport, La./Caddo Magnet School) went 4-2 in the round and advanced to the semis in the 10th spot. The two were paired together in their semifinal pod, with Rotenstein taking a 5-0 decision en route to a 3-3 mark overall. He also defeated foes from Columbia and Hunter College. Berney did not earn a semifinal win, finishing in 20th place overall. In the finals, Rotenstein picked up two more wins defeating foes from Harvard and Columbia to place 11th overall.

In the men's foil, it was senior Elishua Litle (Haifa, Israel/Reali – Beit Haram) who reached the final round of 12. The event's 13th seed, Litle earned a bye into the second round. He went 5-1 in the round of 35 to advance as the fifth seed. The Judges put two other competitors into the semifinals, as sophomore Ian Quin (Ramsey, N.J. / Ramsey) and rookie Jared Sugarman (Scarsdale, N.Y. / Scarsdale) each went 3-3, claiming the 19th and 21st spots, respectively. Litle went 4-2 in the semifinals to take the seventh seed into the finals, while Sugarman went 3-3 and missed the finals on point differential by five touches. In the round of 12, Litle posted wins over opponents from NYU, Boston College and Columbia – the latter of whom finished in fourth place – to place 10th overall in the pool.

With several of the competitors who finished ahead of them coming from schools who had already qualified the maximum number for the NCAA Championships, Rotenstein and Litle will both have an outside shot at an at-large berth when the field is announced on Tuesday.

The men's epee squad produced one semifinalist in senior Hunter Stusnick (New Vernon, N.J. / Chatham). Seeded 23rd headed into the meet, Stusnick went 4-2 in the second round with wins over opponents from Yale, MIT, Brown and Vassar to wind up in a four-way tie for eighth place. In the semis, he picked up wins over Columbia and Yale, but it wasn't enough to advance, winding up in 15th place, one win and a couple of touches out of the top 12 and the finals.

Women'e epee saw three Judges reach the second round. Sophomore Dakota Levy (Merion Station, Pa. / Barrack) went 4-0 in her opening round, while rookie Maddy Vibert (Las Vegas, Nev. / West Career and Tech. Academy) went 3-1 to advance. In the second round, senior Liz Feller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson), who received a bye, went 2-4 and finished in 23rd place, while Levy placed 33rd and Vibert 36th.

In women's saber action, senior Laura Broffman (East Norwich, N.Y. / Oyster Bay) finished in 30th place. She went 3-1 in the opening round to advance to the round of 35, but posted only one win in the second round.