Vassar College Men’s Fencing Team 2009-2010
Men's Team Picture: L to R
Back Row: Head Coach Bruce Gillman, Brian Rouse(So. Epee), Dan Flynn(Fr. Epee), Zach Pattison-
Gordon(Capt. Sr. Epee), Matt Harvey(Fr. Sabre), Raffi Radna(So. Epee), Nick Johnson(So. Epee), Andrew
Middle Row: Eric Lynch(Sr. Foil), John Rothman,(Capt. Sr. Sabre), Jesse Bisignano (Sr. Foil), Jonathan
Hirokawa(Sr. Sabre), Neal McFarland(So. Foil), Mike D'Urso(Soph Foil), Tavish Pegram(Fr. Foil)
Front Row: Jared Berenholz(Sr. Sabre), Dennis D'Urso(Jr. Sabre), Alex Vastola(Fr. Foil), Jerry
Dieudonne(Fr. Sabre), Conor Kenney(Jr. Foil)
Sam Stoeltje(Sr. Epee), Cody Canning(Jr. Sabre), Asst. Coach Eric Soyka, Asst. Coach Alex Fotiyev, Vol.
Asst. Coach Tom Ciccarone, Vol. Asst. Coach John Satterfield, Vol. Asst Coach Will Barnhart, Volunteer
Asst. Coach Samantha Klein
Vassar College Men’s Fencing Team Roster 2009-2010
Name Yr. Weapon Hometown High School
Jared Berenholz Sr. Sabre Narberth, PA Lower Merion
Jesse Bisignano Sr. Foil Scituate, MA Scituate
Dennis D'Urso Jr. Sabre Peabody, MA St. John's Prep
Michael D'Urso Jr. Foil Peabody, MA St. John's Prep
Jerry Dieudonne Fr. Sabre Staten Island, NY New Dorp
Andrew Fischl Jr. Sabre Huntington, NY Harborfields
Dan Flynn Fr. Epee Glen Gardner, NJ Vorhees
Francis W. Parker
Matt Harvey Fr. Sabre Littleton, MA
Jonathan Hirokawa Sr. Sabre Pennsburg, PA Quakertown
Keith Johnson Jr. Epee Lakewood, CO Green Mountain
Nicholas Johnson So. Epee/Foil Byfield, MA St John's Prep
Eric Lynch Sr. Foil Guilford, CT Guilford
Neal McFarland So. Foil Oakland, CA Athenian
C Sr. Epee Arlington, MA Arlington
Tavish Pegram Fr. Foil Baltimore, MD Towson
Raffi Radna So. Epee Bronx, NY Riverdale
John Rothman C Sr. Sabre Wyckoff, NJ Ramapo
Brian Rouse So. Epee Middletown, CT Middletown
Sam Stoeltje Sr. Epee San Antonio, TX International School
Alex Vastola Fr. Foil Briarcliff
Bruce Gillman Head Coach
Eric Soyka Assistant Coach
2009-10 Men's Fencing Schedule
Overall Pct. Conf Pct. Streak Home Away Neutral
18 - 11 .621 7 - 3 .700 L1 10 - 0 0 - 4 8 - 7
Date Opponent Location Time/Result Details
10/4/2009 Alumni Match Details
The Big One @ Smith Northampton,
11/7/2009 Recap Details
11/15/2009 Yeshiva University W 24-3 Details
11/15/2009 Hunter College W 19-8 Details
11/15/2009 Haverford College W 15-12 Details
11/15/2009 Drew University W 17-10 Details
11/15/2009 Army W 14-13 Details
11/21/2009 W 21-6 Details
Polytechnic Institute NY
Albany State Poughkeepsie,
11/21/2009 W 21-6 Details
11/21/2009 Marist College W 20-6 Details
11/21/2009 Bard College W 24-3 Details
11/21/2009 SUNY New Paltz W 27-0 Details
11/29/2009 Harvard University Cambridge, MA L 7-20 Details
11/29/2009 Princeton University Cambridge, MA L 7-20 Details
11/29/2009 Penn State University Cambridge, MA L 5-22 Details
11/29/2009 Cambridge, MA W 14-13 Details
University of North
11/29/2009 Cambridge, MA L 11-16 Details
11/29/2009 New York University Cambridge, MA L 8-19 Details
1/18/2010 Yale University New Haven, CT L 12-15 Details
1/23/2010 * Boston College L 9-18 Details
Massachusetts Chestnut Hill,
1/23/2010 * W 16-11 Details
Institute of Technology MA
1/23/2010 * Tufts University W 20-7 Details
1/23/2010 * Brandeis University W 14-13 Details
1/23/2010 * Brown University L 12-15 Details
2/3/2010 Columbia University New York, NY L 8-19 Details
2/3/2010 New York University New York, NY L 10-17 Details
2/6/2010 * Dartmouth College W 23-4 Details
2/6/2010 * Medford, MA W 18-9 Details
2/6/2010 * Boston University W 22-5 Details
University of New
2/6/2010 * W 23-4 Details
2/6/2010 * L 12-15 Details
New England South Hadley,
2/21/2010 3rd of 13 Details
3/14/2010 Regional Providence, RI Recap Details
Fischl Goes 6-8 In
3/27/2010 Cambridge, MA Sabre After First Details
NCAA Championships Fischl Finishes 16th
at Harvard of 24 In Sabre
Vassar Men's Fencing Stats 2009-10
Matt Harvey 5W-10L
John Rothman 37W-21L
Andrew Fischl 32W-8L
Jared Berenholz 24W-9L
Dennis D'Urso 26W-26L
Cody Canning 11W-4L
Jonathan Hirokawa 21W-2L
Jerry Dieudonne 6W-10L
Eric Lynch 0W-1L
Neal McFarland 0W-5L
Conor Kenney 7W-5L
Eric Lynch 10W-9L
Mike D'Urso 21W-28L
Jesse Bisignano 34W-30L
Tavish Pegram 43W-18L
Alex Vastola 14W-19L
Neal McFarland 6W-8L
Andrew Fischl 4W-0L
Zach Pattison-Gordon 29W-29L
Nick Johnson 48W-20L
Dan Flynn 30W-23L
Brian Rouse 20W-25L
Raphael Radna 1W-2L
Keith Johnson 3W-9L
Sam Stoeltje 6W-5L
Tavish Pegram 4W-0L
Matt Harvey 1W-0L
Eric Lynch 1W-4L
2009-2010 A Great Season For Vassar Men's Fencing
The Vassar Men's Fencing Team had a successful 2009-2010. It started with
our annual Alumni Match, where we not only got to greet and compete with
some of our recent alumni, but were also able to showcase our talent and
team spirit to quite a few prospective students. Some of them actually helped
to referee the match!
The Big One at Smith went well, with Junior sabre fencer Andrew Fischl
finishing second, Freshman foilist Tavish Pegram sixth, and Senior Jesse
Bisignano 9th .
Our first home match was the Vassar Invitational on 11/15/09. The team went
5-0, avenging last year’s loss to Drew 17-10 and beating a strong squad from
Haverford 15-12 behind great fencing from Jesse Bisignano and Tavish
Pegram in foil, Andrew Fischl and John Rothman in sabre, and Nick Johnson
in epee. The team was again undefeated while hosting the first annual
Hudson River Invitational the following week.
This year Vassar traveled to Harvard on Thanksgiving Sunday for a tough day
of dual matches with Penn State, Harvard, Princeton, NYU, Sacred Heart, and
UNC. This year, we couldn’t quite get going against NYU and UNC and the
matches against PSU, Harvard, and Princeton were not close, but many of
our stronger fencers got individual victories, which would help them
immeasurably later in the season. We did manage to edge Sacred Heart 14-
13 behind some clutch foil and sabre fencing from Michael and Dennis
After the winter break, we traveled to Yale and had a strong showing, but lost
a close one to them 12-15.
We started our 3rd season of Northeast Fencing Conference matches on
Saturday January 23,2010 at Boston College. We lost another close match to
Brown 12-15 and had a bad showing as well against host BC, but we beat
Tufts and MIT as well as scoring our first ever team victory against Brandeis,
mostly on the strength of our foil and sabre squads that day.
Our match at NYU on 2/3 was difficult as usual. No one was particularly
impressive against Columbia except for Senior Captain John Rothman, who
had a great night going 5-1. Against NYU, Vassar epee dominated 6-3, but
the rest of the team was unable to support the squad and we lost 10-17.
All three squads came together at the next NEC match was at Tufts on
Saturday 2/5/09. Nick Johnson and Tavish Pegram both were 13-0 on the day
with Jesse Bisignano not far behind at 11-4. The team went 4-1 on the day,
losing only a close 12-15 match to Sacred Heart (undefeated in league play
this year) despite another great 6-3 epee squad win. We finished 4th in the
NEC this year, but were nor blown out by anyone.
New England Championships on 2/21 at Mount Holyoke was a team triumph.
The team placed 3rd overall, the best finish ever for Vassar with the epee
squad repeating as Champion and the sabre squad finishing 2 nd only by
indicators. Epeeist Nick Johnson was the 2010 New England Champion and
Andre Fischl was 2nd and John Rothman 4th in sabre.
IFAs weren’t held this year, so we held a friendly match with Sacred Heart to
warm up for NCAA Regionals on Saturday 3/6.
NCAA North East Regionals were at Brown on 3/14 and we were well
prepared, but had a frustrating day. Sophomore Epeeist Nick Johnson had a
great day, reaching the final round and the was on the brink of qualifying for
NCAAs, but only won two bouts in that round and finished one spot too low to
make it. Junior Sabre fencer Andrew Fischl missed making the final round by
indicators and it looked like he would miss making his third NCAAs, but he did
manage to get a chance at an at large spot.
Tuesday 3/16 was a much better day when we were informed that Andrew
indeed got that at large bid and would be going to NCAAs at Harvard.
This turned out to be Andrew’s best NCAA Championships ever. He was 10-
13 on the tournament and finished 16th. On the way he defeated fencers from
Notre Dame, UNC , Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
2009-2010 was another great season and we look forward to continued
success next year as well.
Prospects for the 2010-2011 season look good even though we will be losing
some important fencers this year from each squad. Captains Zach Pattison-
Gordon and John Rothman will be graduating as well as standout foil squad
leader Jesse Bisignano. We will also be saying good bye to seniors Jared
Berenholz and Jonathan Hirokawa. In foil, we will still have number one
starter Tavish Pegram returning as well as Mike D’Urso and Alex Vastola.
They will be joined by ED 1 recruit Matt Steinschneider, a B rated foilist
trained by our own volunteer asst. Tom Ciccarone. We may also have one or
two other experienced foilists coming fro regular decision. Epee will still be
strong with Nick Johnson, Dan Flynn, and Brian Rouse all returning as
starters. We need to wait on regular decision to see if we will add more. Sabre
will still have Fischl to lead the squad and Dennis D’Urso to back him up.
Indications are that we may have one, two, or three talented freshman coming
in to join them. If not, we have a couple of backups here already in Jerry
Dieudonne and Neal McFarland to step up and support the team.
From: Elliot Lilien <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 17:33:27 -0400
Subject: <no subject>
PRESS RELEASE, VASSAR IN THE NORTHEAST FENCING CONFERENCE
Vassar's fencing teams performed at about the same level in the mens and
womens competition. The mens team went 7-3, the women 8-4. The men were
4th in the league, the women 5th. However, what is clear is that Vassar is
now a force. No team can take a meet against Vassar lightly. Sacred Heart
was the unbeaten mens champion. They narrowly beat Vassar, 15-12 while one
of Vassar's top fencers did not compete. The womens team defeated Boston
College, which finished ahead of them. In no meet was Vassar blown out.
Four Vassar fencers were named to the Northeast All-Star Team. First
Team All-Northeast were Tavish Pegram, Mens Foil (24-4) and Nick Johnson,
Mens Epee, Mens Epee(19-4) Second Team All-Conference were Katie
Leclair,Womens Foil (27-5) and Sophie Courser, Womens Epee(26-6) LeClair
won the decisive bout in a 14-13 win over Wellesley.
The Northeast Fencing Conference has twenty four team and almost four
hundred fencers. All-Star status is a nice accomplishment.
Commissioner, Northeast Fencing Conference
62 Chester Rd. Boxboro, Mass 01719
Goals and Results 2009-2010
Goal - Continue to increase team fitness level.
Result – Adding the squad work out once a week during the blade work section of practice helped to
ensure that everyone got to the fit room at least once a week. Coach Satterfield’s optional swim sessions
and a bit more conditioning in practice all helped to increase team fitness a bit this season.
Goal – Put more focus into weapon squad tactics and squad weapon technique drills
Result – The addition of one tactical bouting session to each squad this season and the ability to
concentrate solely on one squad a day for technique drills was a great success. Coach Soyka’s Friday
sessions were extremely helpful and making all of them for both foil and epee rather than alternating weeks
The successful format is below: during the 2 semester we rotated days on an A,B,C schedule as well
instead of going strictly by days of the week and that helped to even out things further for each squad.
Mondays - Sabre drills, Epee - Tactical Bouting, Foil - workout in the AFC Fit RM
Tuesdays - Sabre - Workout in the Fit RM, Epee - drills, Foil - Tactical Bouting
Wednesdays - Sabre-tactical bouting, Epee-workout in the Fit RM., Foil drills
During blade drills - I or one of the other coaches will be working with you.
During Tactical Bouting - you will set up all electrical sets and will work on bouting with specific goals and
During Fit RM - you will go to the AFC Fit RM as a squad and do as much as you can in there with the 30-
40min you have and depending upon what machines or free weights are available and note what you
complete on your log sheet. If nothing else, run the track.
Fridays - Individual lessons throughout the day - Coach Fotiyev will normally lead footwork. After footwork,
all squads will do a pool and 15 touch DE separated by weapon . Score sheets need to be filled and will be
kept as a way to determine starters for the next intercollegiate competition (this is not the only factor, don't
worry those with Friday labs). When you finish this mini competition, you can fence some more 5 and 15
touch bouts. Coach Soyka will have extra squad sessions for foil and epee every friday starting 10/9 from
5:30PM-6:15PM. All foil and epee are expected to attend those.
Foil Squad – Goal – integrate the new and talented freshmen into what has been our weakest squad
in past years.
Result – The foil squad came together really well this year. Freshman Tavish Pegram stepped into the
starring role, going undefeated in one of our Northeast conference match days even though we fenced
league champion Sacred Heart that day. Jesse Bisignano was a strong # 2 in his Senior year and Michael
D’urso won several key bouts as #3.
Epee Squad – Goal – Work together and finally take a leadership role in Practice and Competition
Result –The epee squad came together much better this season and had a great year. They repeated at
New England Champions and Sophomore Nick Johnson was the individual New England Champion as
well. Freshman Dan Flynn stepped smoothly into a starting role and looks to be the one to bring the squad
even closer together next year.
Sabre squad – Goal – Bring the new starters up to last year's high level.
Result – Despite some drama this year, the sabre squad was yet again our most successful. Junior
Andrew Fischl made it to his third consecutive NCAA Championships and finished a personal high of 16 .
Senior John Rothman stepped in to the number two role solidly this season and was instrumental in our first
ever team victory over Brandeis as well as making the individual finals at New Englands. Junior Dennis
D’Urso emerged as the clear # 3, winning several key bouts and helping to insure both the squads 2 place
and the team overall third place at New England Championships.
Eric Soyka continues to be as excellent assistant coach every year. He has continued
to lead extra foil and epee practices every Friday during the season. Our student
athletes appreciate the extra help with tactics and technique and are more than willing to
put in the extra time to attend. Eric also again took on lots of individual foil and epee
lessons this season, which has helped to keep my lesson load under control while I deal
with facilities issues. He has been a great help at the matches he has been able to
attend this year, as he is an excellent strip coach as well as a lesson coach.
Alex Fotiyev has been a valuable member of our coaching staff again this year. He is
an experienced sabre and foil coach working at the Candlewood Fencing Center and
was a Junior Sabre champion of the Ukraine a number of years ago. I credit Alex with
the vast improvement in our sabre squad, again our top squad this year. Coach Fotiyev
was again able to come each Friday during the season and give short individual lessons
to each of our starting Sabre fencers and also to Freshman Foilist Jesse Bisignano, as
he has done for the past two years. He is effective not only with high-level fencers, but
has done yeoman’s work in improving are walk-ons this year as well.
Volunteer Assistant Coaches
Samantha Klein was helpful to us as always in the Fall Semester, but unfortunately her
job at the Vassar Library was terminated due to budget cuts and she moved to CT. She
did keep in touch and was able to join us at Mt. Holyoke for New England
Championships, where she helped the women’s epee squad repeat as champions.
Tom Ciccarone was able to come and help us much more this season and was able to
give individual lessons just about every Friday. He was again very helpful this season as
a sounding board for ideas and strategies.
John Satterfield was an excellent addition to the coaching staff this year. He was able
to step in for Coach Klein in helping the women’s epee squad and spent countless hours
coming to practice two or three times a week all season working with the squad on
tactical drills, observing and helping during bouting, and working one on one during
practice. He was also able to travel with us on a number of the away trips when none of
the other coaches could join me. He also started to introduce an optional swim
component on the weekends that we will follow up in more detail next season.
Will Barnhart was not able to come to many practices this season, but he was
extremely helpful when he was there, leading some group footwork and overseeing
tactical drills. He was able to come to NCAA Regionals at Brown and help with some
strip coaching there.
Sheila Perilli was extremely helpful to the team again this year. She made sure
that we were all set for our travel and overnight trips and reminded me of any
paperwork that needed to be turned in. She was always there to help answer any
question or provide anything that the team or I needed. We all already miss her
greatly and wish her the best as she spends more time with her family in
Shiloh Delawder has been great so far as she learns to fill Sheila’s shoes. She
has been quite helpful so far and an encouraging presence in the office.
Kim Culligan was a saint again this year. She was a great resource this year to
answer questions on not just compliance issues, but anything that had to do with
the program. Her support was unwavering and very much appreciated.
Del Harris was very helpful in making and managing our transportation
Jeff Carter was very helpful to the Fencing Teams again this year. Jeff, Josh,
and Jessica were always available during the season to help fencers in need.
The physical therapy program that Jeff introduced to Vassar two years ago
continues to extremely helpful to us. John and the others from the Center For
Physical Therapy were extremely helpful in getting a number of my fencers back
on our feet and back into competition shape after injuries again this year.
Robin Deutsch has been helpful to the team as Sports Information Director. He
has expertly edited our match reports and stats, kept the old website reasonably
up to date, and this year introduced a wonderful new website that better helps to
showcase the program.
Jon Martin and the rest of the facilities staff have been very helpful this year and
provided us with all the facilities support we have needed. Special thanks should
go to Karl Egner, who was our equipment manager again this year and did a
Special thanks to Judy Hanna and to Ki Kroll for handling the business
manager’s duties. We were never without anything in the fall that we needed and
Ki has stepped in well and got things organized quickly and smoothly for the
Many thanks should also go to Director of Athletics Sharon Beverly for all of her
hard work behind the scenes, without which none of the Vassar Athletics teams
Vassar Men’s and Women’s Fencing Team Alumni Match 10/5/08
We had another successful Alumni match on Sunday 10/4/09 in Walker Field House. It was nice to see some of the
alumni back and the current team members got to shake some of their competitive rust off before the start of the season.
There were also a number of prospective students in attendance getting a look at the team and helping out with the
Here are the results:
1st John Rothman 2010
2nd Dennis D’Urso 2011
3rd Jonathan Hirkawa 2010
3rd Jerry Dieudonne 2013
1st Domino Gehred-O’Connell 2011
2nd Jillian Josimovich 2013
3rd Vanora Estridge 2012
3rd Brooke Schieffer 2012
5th Ariel Hulley 2010
1st Tavish Pegram 2013
2nd Mike D’Urso 2011
3rd Jesse Bisignano 2010
3rd Eric Lynch 2010
5th Ray Gordon 1985
6th Neal McFarland 2012
7th Alex Vastola 2013
1st Katie LeClair 2013
2nd Sadi Rebsch 2009
3rd Elizabeth Ilechko 2012
4th Katharine Sweeney 2013
5th Alia Heintz 2012
6th Tracy Bratt 2013
1st Brian Rouse 2012
2nd Raphael Radna 2012
3rd Nick Johnson 2012
3rd Dan Flynn 2013
5th Eric Soyka – Assistant Coach
6th Zach Pattison-Gordon 2010
7th Paul Brehm 2008
8th Keith Johnson 2011
1st Sophie Courser 2011
2nd Joanne Groening – Head Coach’s wife
3rd Veronica Weser 2012
4th Caitlin Clevenger 2013
5th Chaia Flegenheimer 2013
6th Jacinthe Sasson-Yenor 2010
7th Victoria Weiss 2013
8th Emilia Mendieta 2010
Next years Alumni Match is scheduled for Sunday 10/3/10 at 10AM in Walker Field House.
I ask that all Alumni and Alumni coaches please mark your calendars now. You do not have to fence in the event in order
to come and support the team. We may take a trip to the Dutch for a late lunch, early dinner afterwards.
Head Men's and Women's Fencing Coach