Aliya Itzkowitz will suit up for her first home match of her career in Crimson Friday night. The freshman placed eighth in sabre at the Penn State Garret Open Nov. 3. (Photo: Gil Talbot)
The Harvard women's fencing team welcomes Tufts to the Malkin Athletic Center for its only home dual match of the season tonight at 6 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Crimson posted an impressive 4-1 record last Saturday in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to open the NCAA portion of its schedule. Harvard defeated Sacred Heart, 19-8, in round one before toppling the hosts, Vassar, 24-3. In the third round, the Crimson dropped its only match of the day to Penn State. Harvard got back on track with a pair of double-digit victories against North Carolina and NYU.
Six women placed in the top-20 at the prestigious Penn State Garret Open on Nov. 3. Captains Katherine Chou and Alexandra Kiefer, both first-team All-Ivy League selections in 2011-12, return to the Crimson, as do second-team honorees Emma Vaggo and Felicia Sun. Harvard, the defending Beanpot champion, also adds Sarah Tillman and van Loon to its roster for the epee event, while newcomer Aliya Itzkowitz competes in sabre.
Tufts (0-2) opened the season with losses to Columbia, 23-4, and NJIT, 15-12. Against NJIT, the Jumbos won the sabre division, 8-1, with sophomore Sarah Innes-Gold, junior Shelby Bean and freshman Alexandra Boden picking up victories. Innes-Gold and Bean also earned wins in an overall losing effort against the hosts, Columbia.
Harvard has never lost to Tufts in a dual match, holding a perfect 19-0 mark against the Jumbos that dates back to the teams' first meeting in 1981.
Alexandra the Great
In just two seasons in Cambridge, Alexandra Kiefer has made her mark on the Harvard history books. The Lexington, Ky., native won the NCAA foil individual crown her freshman year, earning All-American honors along the way. She became the second-consecutive Harvard women's fencer to win an individual national championship, following Caroline Vloka '12, who claimed the sabre crown in 2010. The victory marked the second foil individual championship in Crimson history, with Emily Cross '09 taking home the prize in 2005.
Kiefer, a two-time first-team All-Ivy selection, picked up gold and silver at the Garret Open in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and garnered All-American honorable mention recognition last year.
Spanning the Globe
Aliya Itzkowitz placed 41st in a field of 156 fencers at the Sosnowiec Junior Sabre World Cup Nov. 19. Itzkowitz won four of six bouts in her pools to earn a bye into the table of 64, where she ultimately fell to Sofia Ciaraglia of Italy.
Itzkowitz, who hails from London, England, earned junior national championships in 2011 and 2012 and finished eighth in sabre in her collegiate debut at the Garret Penn State Open.
Below are 140 character or less notes on the Harvard women's fencing team. Share them with your own Twitter followers, and follow @HarvardCrimson for all the latest news and notes on Harvard athletics. See what other Crimson crazies are saying about your favorite teams and student-athletes by using the hashtag #GoCrimson.
- .@Alex_Kiefer is off to a strong start with a silver medal at the Garret Penn State Open & a 14-1 effort last wkd. #GoCrimson
- .@goHFTweet had four women place in the top-10 at the Garret Penn State Open Nov. 3.
- .@goHFTweet is a perfect 19-0 all-time against Tufts.
- The Harvard women's fencing team has won every Beanpot title since the event's inception in '07. That's 5-straight! #BeantownSupremacy
Crimson Top 10
GoCrimson.com introduced a new video feature to its lineup for the 2012-13 season, "Top Plays of the Month," counting down the greatest moments from your favorite Crimson student-athletes and teams from the previous calendar month. Michael Raynis's gold-medal performance in epee at the Penn State Garret Open was selected the eighth-best play of November. Check out the video here, and use the hashtag #CrimsonTop10 to nominate your favorite plays for inclusion.
Harvard returns to action next semester with matches against Columbia, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and St. John's Jan. 26 in Queens, N.Y.