UConn fencing went into the New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference Championships with high hopes, looking to challenge some of the NCAA rosters in attendance, and the Huskies certainly put up a fight all day. Here are some of the best moments from UConn’s performance at Brandeis on Saturday by squad.
The men’s epee team finished the day with a 5-6 record against all squads, with a 5-2 record when excluding NCAA rosters. The standout performance of the squad came from Adin Jennings, who started out undefeated in the first four rounds, including upsets of Brown’s Charles Alaimo (5-4) and Vassar’s Eli Weise (2-1), en route to seven wins on the day. Right behind him was Sam Zelin, who amassed six victories, including a win over Brandeis’ Elliot Morgenstern (5-3).
Despite being short a starting slot, UConn’s Grace McFadden and Lela Romeo both had multiple good bouts on Saturday. McFadden won three bouts and Romeo won two, which was enough for a squad victory of WPI. They defeated Madison Eisenhower and Jane Cohen, respectively. Another highlight came when Romeo beat MIT’s Cassandra He.
The C slot for the Huskies was the most successful on the men’s foil squad, as starter Josh Liefeld won three of his bouts, including a 5-4 victory over Griffith Werwa of Brandeis. Liefeld was substituted later in the day for Garrick Leclue, who won his first career NEIFC bout, taking down Sonic Fleming of BU 5-4. Phil Nicopoulos, the B-slot fencer for UConn, won two bouts that day.
The Huskies’ women’s foil squad was the only UConn squad with four separate fencers claiming victory on Saturday. A-slot fencer Kathryn Atkinson won three times, including two 5-0 victories over Smith’s Kira Seshaiah and URI’s Rose Teixeira. Sneha Kumar, fencing in the B-slot, picked up six wins, four of which were also in 5-0 fashion, against Michela Marchini of Mount Holyoke, Angela Chao of BU, Emeline Donovan of Northeastern and Tiyan Eweka of UMass. Julia Luscomb and Sally Dai shared duties for the C slot, with Luscomb picking up two wins and Dai winning one.
NEIFC Fall Invitational champion Alan Fotiyev was the men’s sabre A-slot fencer for UConn, picking up seven wins, including a 5-1 victory over Sacred Heart’s Vijay Ganta. His seven wins tied him with Jennings for most wins by a UConn fencer on Saturday, immediately followed by Zelin and Kumar, who had six apiece. Aside from Fotiyev, Ruiwen Lin and Aidan Schoffstall each won a bout, defeating URI’s Kobe Gallman (5-4) and Tufts’ Henry Nissen (5-3), respectively.
Like the Epee squad, the Huskies’ women’s sabre squad failed to field a third fencer, so all duties fell to A-slot fencer Alex Boutin and B-slot Sarah Pasqualetti. Each performed well, with Boutin winning five bouts, including two 5-0 victories over UMass’ Claudia Agustin and WPI’s Ligia Machado e Portugal, with Pasqualetti winning three.
Overall, UConn performed well at NEIFCs. The goal of the season is now to prepare for Club Nationals in early April, and the roadmap for success there is certainly set. While the Huskies certainly struggled more against the NCAA schools, these will not be present in April, so the focus can be turned to only the club rosters, which UConn held its own against all day.