BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Four Harvard fencers traveled across the pond to compete at the Junior World Cup this past weekend. Jerry Chang, Stephen Mageras and Nina van Loon took the strip in Bratsilava, Czechoslovakia while Aliya Itzkowitz competed in Poland.
Van Loon highlighted all Crimson fencers performances by winning her first three bouts of the ranking competition to take seventh-place overall. The sophomore qualified for the ranking rounds by taking three matches in her qualifying pool. After receiving a bye in round one, the 71st-seeded epeeist knocked off her USA teammate Giana Vierhleer, 15-14. The Boulder, Colo., native went on to defeat Ukraine's Kseniya Pantelyeyeva, 15-6, and Russia's Violetta Khrapina, 15-4, to reach the quarterfinals against Paula Scmidl. The Australian ended van Loon's win streak by a score of 15-10.
On the men's side, Chang and Mageras each notched four victories in foil pool play to qualify for the ranking round where each received a bye in the opening bout. Chang downed Thibault Bekkat of France, 15-11, before falling to 19th-seeded Nagahito Sunouchi of Japan, 15-14. The sophomore finished 47th overall. Mageras opened his qualifying play with a 15-8 victory over Markus Felner (AUT). The freshman was defeated by USA's Nobuo Bravo, who was seeded fourth, by a score of 15-9. Mageras took 57th overall.
In Poland, Itzkowitz represented Great Britain in the field of 120 saber fencers. The freshman was downed by Germany's Lisa Freudenberger, 15-11, to finish 33rd.
The Harvard women will start its season at home, Thursday, Dec. 5 when the Crimson hosts the Tufts Jumbos. The men will fence for the first time in 2013-14 three days later when they travel to Fairfield, Conn., for the Tradition Tournament.