November 6, 2007

Fencing Brings 11 Medals Home From The Big One

Nov. 6, 2007

Providence, RI - As far as season debuts go, Head Coach Atilio Tass could not have asked for much more from his fencing teams this past weekend, as Brown fencers brought home 11 medals from The Big One (more properly known as the NEIFC/NEWIFA Fall Invitational), held this year at Kendall Field House at Mount Holyoke College. Sophomore Adam Pantel (Mendham, NJ) and freshman Francesca Bartholomew (Boston, MA) won the men's and women's foil competitions, respectively, to highlight a strong performance from all six Brown squads.

The competition takes place in two phases, beginning with round-robin duals within pools, with results from those being used to seed a bracket with 80 percent of the fencers in that weapon's draw.

Bartholomew was dominant in her collegiate debut, as she was one of four fencers at the competition to go undefeated on the day, going 11-0. In the pool bouts, which go to five touches or a time limit, she did not allow an opponent to score more than two touches. She was just as dominant in the bracketed rounds, which go to 15 touches or a time limit, as none of her opponents hit double-digit touches. Also in women's foil, sophomore Kirsten Lynch (Maplewood, NJ) and senior Allison Kwong (Los Altos Hills, CA) finished their pools with one loss each. Lynch advanced to the quarterfinal round before losing to place eighth, while Kwong advanced to the round of 16 before falling to the eventual runner-up, Cordelia Link of MIT.

Pantel did have a blemish on his record after the pool round, coming in as the 10th seed at 5-1. However, he was able to work his way through the brackets without the help of a first-round bye, finishing the day with an 11-1 mark. Unfortunately, his path to the championship went through two of his teammates, as he won tight 15-13 battles with sophomore Andrea Vartosis (London, UK) and freshman Scott Phillips (Great Neck, NY) in the rounds of 32 and 16, respectively. On the other side of the bracket, freshman Jonathan Yu (Birmingham, AL) was impressive, advancing to the semifinals with a 8-0 record, not including a forfeit win, to finish in a tie for third.

The women's saber squad was Brown's deepest and most talented last season, and it appears there will be no dropoff this year, as three members of that squad medaled - senior Charlotte Gartenberg (St. Oaks, CA) took third, junior Deborah Gorth (Amherst, MA) took sixth, and sophomore Randy Alevi (Old Westbury, NY) took seventh. In a situation similar to the men's foil draw, the only thing that kept Alevi, an Honorable Mention All-American last season, from advancing farther was Gartenberg, who won a 15-13 quarterfinal bout between the two. Two rounds earlier, Alevi defeated freshman Aleksandra Mackiewicz (Westwood, MA) in the round of 32,

Women's epee saw the Bears place two fencers in the semifinals, as senior Christine Livoti (Garden City, NY) and junior Christina Salvatore (Chevy Chase, MD) tied for third place in the draw. Both went undefeated in round-robin play to grab first-round byes. Livoti dominated on her way through the draw before falling to eventual champ Stephanie Shin of MIT. Salvatore battled her way through two 15-14 victories to reach the semis, one of which was against teammate Robyn Thvedt (Tucson, AZ) in the round of 32. Also of note was the performance of sophomore Eva Shultis (Marshfield, MA), who advanced past round-robin play with a 2-4 record despite taking up the sport just one month ago.

Brown produced 8th-place medalists in both the men's epee and men's saber draws. Sophomore epee fencer Adam Yarnell (Harrison, NY) went 5-1 in round-robin play to earn the nine seed, advancing to the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champ Will Bedor of Brandeis. Senior Samuel Levine (Santa Monica, CA) upset two higher-seeded fencers en route to the quarterfinals to improve on his seeding of 19 after the round-robin portion.

With their opening competition out of the way, the Bears will now focus on preparing for the first Northeast Fencing Conference competition, which will be held at Boston University on Nov. 17. The Brown women are the two-time defending NFC champions, while the men will look to improve on their third-place finish last season.

Brown Final Results (Pool record and seed)
Men's Foil

Adam Pantel - 1st place (5-1, 10th)
Jonathan Yu - T-3rd place (6-0, 5th)
Scott Phillips - 15th place (4-2, 26th)
Andrea Varotsis - 27th place (4-1, 23rd)

Women's Foil
Francesca Bartholomew - 1st place (6-0, 2nd)
Kirsten Lynch - 8th place (4-1, 21st)
Allison Kwong - 13th place (5-1, 17th)
Linda Zhang - 29th place (3-3, 30th)
Lyla Fujiwara - 40th place (2-4, 39th)
Bridget Smith - 42nd place (2-4, 41st)

Men's Epee
Adam Yarnell - 8th place (5-1, 9th)
David Pagliaccio - 15th place (3-2, 27th)
Henry Liu - 22nd place (4-2, 14th)
Tobias Cohen - 40th place (2-3, 36th)

Women's Epee
Christine Livoti - T-3rd place (6-0, T-2nd)
Christina Salvatore - T-3rd place (6-0, 4th)
Robyn Thvedt - 25th place (3-3, 28th)
Eva Shultis - 44th place (2-4, 44th)
Angela Matsushita - 51st place (1-5, 51st)

Men's Saber
Samuel Levine - 8th place (4-2, 19th)
Peter Donnelly - 27th place (3-3, 34th)
Joseph Isaacson - 33rd place (4-2, 20th)
Elias Jaffa - 54th place (1-5, 54th)

Women's Saber
Charlotte Gartenberg - T-3rd place (5-1, 5th)
Deborah Gorth - 6th place (5-1, 6th)
Randy Alevi - 7th place (5-1, 13th)
Aleksandra Mackiewicz - 20th place (4-2, 20th)