Men’s Fencing Opens 2014-15 with Tradition Tournament

Men’s Fencing Opens 2014-15 with Tradition Tournament

Harvard returns an experienced squad from last year's Ivy League championship team (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's fencing will take to the strip for the first time this season in Fairfield, Connecticut, at the Tradition Tournament, hosted by Sacred Heart. The Crimson will take on New York University, Penn State and Vassar, in addition to the host Pioneers, at the invitational.

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Season Preview

Last Season
Harvard went 12-6 during the 2013-14 season, finishing fifth as a team at the NCAA Championships. Returners Brian Kaneshige and Michael Woo, in addition to departed seniors Michael Raynis and Eric Arzoian earned All-America status last year, while junior Jerry Chang earned first team All-Ivy recognition.

Harvard returns seven letterwinners from last year's squad:  Sabre Duncan O'Brien; foil fencers Chang, Kaneshige, Stephen Mageras, and Woo; and epeeists in Alexander Eldeib and Nicolas Simko.

Scouting Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart (10-1) will serve as the host of the invitational and placed 11th at last year's NCA Championships. Harvard holds a 9-0 series record against the Pioneers, and won last year's matchup 17-10.

Scouting New York University
NYU (1-0) enters the Tradition Tournament after defeating Stevens Tech in its season opener. The Crimson defeated NYU last season, 18-9, and own a 13-32-1 series mark against the Violets.

Scouting Penn State
Penn State (3-1) toppled Princeton, Notre Dame and North Carolina in their opening tournament, and visit Fairfield with some momentum. The Nittany Lions, which won the 2013-14 National Championship, lead the all-time series with the Crimson 12-5, with Harvard's last victory coming at last season's St. John's Invite.

Scouting Vassar
Vassar (10-2) has hosted a pair of tournaments to start the season, going 5-0 at the Matt Lampell Hudson River Invite. Harvard is 9-0 all-time against Vassar, and routed the Brewers 26-1 in last year's matchup.

Leading the Way
Head coach Peter Brand enters his 16th season at the helm for the Crimson, which has posted a winning record in the last 13 seasons under his watch. Harvard has won six Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 159-72 record on the men's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard.

Fresh Faces
Harvard has added two freshmen to the 2014-15 roster in sabre fencers Eli Dershwitz and Eric Zhao. Dershwitz has been dominant on the international circuit, winning gold at the Junior World Cup in Budapest earlier this year and in Sosnowiec in 2013. Zhao has fenced internationally as well, competing in Poland in 2013 and placing sixth at the Cadet North American Cup in 2011.

Aye Aye, Captain
Brian Kaneshige '15 and Duncan O'Brien '16 were named the captains for the 2014-15 campaign, marking the 19th time in program history that the Crimson has had two captains. Both enter their first year as team captains.

Coming Up
Harvard is off until January 24, where it will compete at the St. John's Invitational. Penn State, Columbia, Notre Dame and Ohio State, in addition to the host Red Storm, will all face the Crimson at the tournament.