Our Staff

Boston Fencing Club

David Sach

Director of Operations


David Sach

David Sach started his fencing career in the UK where he won numerous cadet, junior and senior national titles including a run of 5 back to back Junior national championships. He also fenced at 8 World Championships between 1995 and 1998 Junior, Cadet and Senior. David also represented Wales at 3 Commonwealth Games winning 2 individual Silver medals and a team Gold. David moved into coaching at a relatively young age but since then has coached numerous national champions at all age groups, international world cup medallists at both Junior and Senior level, a Cadet World Champion and Olympians. Before moving to the USA, he served as a British Fencing World Class Performance Pathway sabre coach - a position in which he coached and monitored members of the British Olympic Sabre Team. David is also an FIE rated referee, earning appointments at the 2005, 2007 Senior World Championships and 2008 Olympic Games.

Matt Zich

Matt Zich

Matthew (Matt) Zich has been involved in sabre fencing for over 25 years, 11 years as an internationally-ranked competitor and for the last 15 years as a coach, with a proven record of developing elite fencers.  Classically trained by Maestro Yury Gelman (five-time Olympic Fencing Coach and National Men's Sabre Coach) in New York City, Matthew was a member of the US National Fencing Team, 2003-2007, representing the United States at World Championships held in Korea, Italy, France and Austria. Matthew was ranked #1 USA and top 5 internationally as a Cadet; #1 USA and top 5 internationally as a Junior; and top 5 USA as a Senior.

Working with beginners through advanced fencers, Matthew's students have medaled at Youth Tournaments through Junior Olympics and Senior National Championships.  At the request of USFA, he has worked with national team members for international competitions, including as the coach of the US Cadet National Team for the World Cup Events in Poland and Germany. Matthew is the coach of 2022 Junior Men's Sabre national champion Hyunseok (Tommy) Choi and 2022 NCAA All-American Maggie Shealy from Brandeis University, where he is currently the sabre coach.  Matthew has coached numerous students who have gone on to fence in leading college programs, including Oxford University, Harvard, Columbia, UPenn, Duke, Brandeis, St. John's, Northwestern, and Boston College.

Davis Merritt

Davis Merritt

Davis Merritt has been affiliated with the Boston Fencing Club since he began fencing at the age of five. As a foil fencer, Davis captured the Under-13 national title, was twice the Under-15 national champion, won the Under-17 national championship, and was crowned the Under-19 North Atlantic champion. He claimed the New England Division championship on two occasions and clinched the Bay State Games title. As an undergraduate at St. John's University, Davis received NCAA All-America honors. Davis competed on the 1995 Pan-Am and 1997 national teams. In addition, he helped the Under-20 and Division 1A men's foil teams capture national championships.

Davis's students have medaled at regional and national competitions in junior, senior, and veteran events. He has coached multiple students who have gone on to fence on NCAA college teams including the U.S. Airforce Academy, Drew University and Tufts University. Davis is currently the foil coach for the Tufts University NCAA varsity women's team. 

Yasser Mahmoud

Yasser Mahmoud

Yasser Mahmoud has been involved in fencing for twenty-one years, focusing in epee.  Yasser comes from a long line of fencing, with his family including Olympic athletes and National coaches.  While Yasser is a nationally ranked referee, he focused his involvement in the sport on competing and has competed at both the national and international level.  In 2016 he graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts (Sculpture), after achieving All-American status for his 2014 NCAA Championship result.  Before Penn State, he coached in 2010 at the Commonwealth School and 2011 saw him as the Boston University Academy coach.  After graduation, Yasser served as a camp counselor for Brown University's fencing camp and has been coaching at Beaver High School since 2016.  After a year at Boston Fencing Club, Yasser is now the Head Coach for epee and is excited to help the program grow.

Brendan Doris-Pierce

Brendan Doris-Pierce

Brendan is a graduate of Brandeis University where he was the captain of his fencing team and a gradute of the University of Mississippi recieving his master's degree in Higher Education Administration. Brendan has been coaching at the BFC since his own time on the BFC Junior Team 15 years ago. In that time he has coached national medalists ranging from Y12 to Division I and had students on point standings in every category. He is also the head coach at Boston College where he runs the team and is specifically  in charge of the sabre program. Two BC Sabreurs have made NCAA championships as well as numerous Northeast Fencing Conference All Stars. He has been called the heart and soul of BFC having been a member of the club for over two decades.


Iliya mechkov

Epee Coach

Iliya is a 1996 Olympian and six time National Champion who has been an international level Epee Coach for over 30 years and has consistently developed National medalists and college recruits to top US Universities. 


Sabre coach 

Natalia dashnaw

Natalia began fencing 15 years ago and spent the majority of her training under Oleg Stetsiv and Mihail Etropolski at Bergen Fencing Club. After her competitive career was over she stayed in touch with the fencing community by becoming a nationally recognized referee and began coaching. As a coach she has been mentored at multiple sabre clubs including Bergen Fencing Club and Masters Fencing Club. Natalia brings in a high level of technical knowledge while maintaining the importance of a positive environment.


Nina sayles

Enrollment and member services

Nina is a graduate of Brandeis University where she was captain of the NCAA fencing team in her senior year. She continues to compete nationally, representing BFC, and she was the 2018 April NAC Div II and Div III gold medalist, silver medalist at the 2021 Div IA Championships, and multiple time women's sabre team NAC medalist with BFC teammates. Nina has been working at the front desk at BFC since 2019. In her role, Nina manages enrollment and inquiries, social media and communications, and member events. When she is not at the club, Nina is pursuing a Master's in Urban Planning and Master's in Public Health at Harvard University.