Carminucci, Pite pace women at NCAA Regionals

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Brandeis University fencing team wrapped up its 2018-19 season today at the NCAA Northeast Regional championships. The Judges put one fencer into the finals and a handful of additional top-20 performances.

Leading the way on the day was sophomore sabre fencer Alexander Holtmann (Bad Ueberkingen, Germany / Kaufmaennische Schule Geislingen), who finished in 11th place as the only Brandeis fencer to make the final pool of 12. Seeded 21st entering the meet, Holtmann went 3-2 in the opening round of action with wins over fencers from NYU, Vassar and Yale to earn the 12th spot into the semifinal round. In the semis, he went 3-3 with a minus-one indicator to just edge into the finals in the 11th spot. Holtmann defeated two opponents from Columbia, as well as junior teammate Charles Catino (Bellevue, Wash. / Hillside) in the round. Holtmann then went 4-7 in the final round. In the finals, his wins were over the eventual regional champion Ben Nazanton from St. John's, fourth-place finisher Erwin Cai from Harvard, sixth-place finisher Mikolaj Bak from NYU and 12th-place Bolang Meng from BC. With only one finisher ahead of him exceeding the two-fencer-per-team limit, Holtmann will finish just outside of the top eight needed for NCAA qualification.

The Judges' next-best finishers were a pair of 15th-place finishes in men's foil and men's epee. In the foil, junior captain Ian Quin (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) was the 14th seed entering the meet. He went 4-2 in the opening round, posting wins over opponents from MIT, Sacred Heart, Vassar and NYU to advance to the semifinals in 12th place. Despite wins over foes from MIT and St. John's in the second round, it wasn't enough for Quin to advance. In the men's epee, junior Chris Armstrong (Highland Park, Ill. / Highland Park) entered the meet seeded 30th. He opened the day going 3-1 in the preliminary round, then in the second round, went 3-3 with wins over Harvard, NYU and Brown and a zero indicator to claim the 19th of 21 spots in the semifinals. Despite a win over eventual fourth-place finisher Albert Chien of Harvard, Armstrong needed one more win to reach the finals after going 2-4.

On the women's side, the Judges had a pair of semifinalists in the foil. Seniors Joanne Carminucci (Brewster, N.Y./North Salem) and Renee Pite (Woodbridge, Conn./Amity Regional) entered as the 12th and 26th seeds, respectively. Pite had the better performance of the two in the first round, as both women went 4-2, but Pite posted a plus-two indicator, compared to minus-four for Carminucci. Pite's wins came over foes from BC, Harvard, Tufts and Vassar, while Carminucci defeated opponents from NYU, Cornell, Wellesley and BC. The pair were seeded 14th and 15th, respectively, into the semifinals. Both struggled in their pool of seven in the semis, with Carminucci posting one win over an opponent from Harvard and Pite going winless, as they finished in 18th and 20th places.

Other top fencers for the women were sophomore Madeleine Vibert (Las Vegas, Nev. / West Career and Tech. Academy), who finished in 26th place in the epee competition, and rookie Jada Harrison (Jericho, N.Y./Jericho), who was 27th in sabre.