Harvard heads to Fairfield, Connecticut to matchup with Sacred Heart, Temple, NYU, Penn State and Vassar (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Fresh off of a 25-2 victory over Tufts on December 5, the Harvard women's fencing team returns to action at the Tradition Tournament, hosted by Sacred Heart December 7.
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Last Time Out
Harvard women's fencing got off to a great start in 2014-15, defeating Tufts 25-2. The Crimson was particularly dominant in the sabre and foil divisions, winning each of the respective round robins 9-0, while the epee squad finished 7-2.
Related Link: Women's Fencing Routs Tufts 25-2 in Season Opener
Scouting Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart (11-3) is the host team at the tradition tournament, and will face off against Harvard in the event for the third consecutive year. The Pioneers returned 11 fencers from last year's squad that went 20-11 and placed 17th at the NCAA Championships last year. Harvard is a perfect 10-0 against Sacred Heart all-time, and won last year's duel 23-4.
Temple (0-0) returns most of its quad from last season's squad that placed eighth at the NCAA Championships. The Crimson is 5-4 overall against the Owls, winning last year's matchup 17-10.
Scouting New York University
NYU (0-1) enters the Tradition tournament after dropping its opening match to Stevens Tech on November 6. Harvard has never lost to the Violets, sporting a 16-0 record in the history between the two schools.
Scouting Penn State
Penn State (2-2) won the 2013-14 National Championship, though has split its four matches to being 2014-15. Harvard is 7-10 against Penn State, but has come out on top in the last two matchups, posting victories by scores of 16-11 and 15-12.
Vassar (10-4) has already hosted a pair of invitationals in getting off to a good start. The Brewers have struggled historically with Harvard, which boasts a 12-0 record all-time in the series.
Sophomore Adrienne Jarocki returns to the Crimson lineup after winning the NCAA Championship in the sabre division as a freshman. Jarocki defeated her teammate, junior Aliya Itzkowitz, in an all-Crimson final.
Seniors Isabel DiTella and Emma Väggö placed sixth and ninth, respectively, in the NCAA epee championship a year ago and then-senior Alexandra Kiefer posted a top-five finish in the foil bracket. All five of the Crimson student-athletes who placed in the top-10 earned All-American status.
Harvard women's fencing posted a 16-4 record during 2013-14, including a 5-1 record in conference play. The team ended the season by sweeping the opposition at the Beanpot and taking fifth as a team at the NCAA Championships in March.
Leading the Way
Head coach Peter Brand enters his 16th season at the helm for the Crimson, which has posted a winning record in every season under his watch. Harvard has won three Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 200-62 record on the women's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard.
Harvard has added four freshmen from around the country for the 2014-15 season. MacKenzie Lawrence and Hellary Zhang join the Crimson's foil squad, while Claire Dinhut and Julie Park will compete wielding the epee.
Aye Aye, Captain
Kara Lee '15 and Aliya Itzkowitz '16 were named the captains for the 2014-15 campaign, marking the 19th time in program history that the Crimson has had two captains. Lee is the 13th Harvard fencer to be a captain for two seasons.
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.