Väggö leads all Crimson fencers with a 30-3 record (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's fencing team will look for its first conference championship since 2009 at the 2015 Ivy League Fencing Round Robins February 8-9. The Crimson finished second in 2014, posting a 5-1 record.
Last Time Out
Harvard women's fencing went 1-3-1, earning a victory over Penn State and a draw with St. John's, in its third outing of the year at the St. John's Invitational. The sabre squad went 4-0-1, with Adrienne Jarocki winning 13 bouts to lead the Crimson. The foil fencers were 2-3 on the day, with Hali Nelson and MacKenzie Lawrence each recording six wins. Emma Väggö recorded 12 wins in the epee unit, which was the top mark among all epee fencers at the invitational.
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By The Numbers
Eight student-athletes hold a record above .500, and five have posted more than 20 wins. The team has combined for 191 total wins, posting a .645 winning percentage through 11 contests.
Harvard's sabre squad, comprising of Adrienne Jarocki, Aliya Itzkowitz and Kara Lee, has gone unbeaten through 11 matches, posting a 10-0-1 overall record with four 9-0 shutouts. Each of the three has eclipsed the 20-win plateau, with Jarocki logging the best indicator at +84. Itzkowitz has recorded a +70 touch differential, while Lee is at +24.
Behind the Crimson
Junior captain Aliya Itzkowitz was named the ECAC Fencer of the Week on December 11, 2014 after compiling a perfect 18-0 record to start the year. Itzkowitz is no stranger to on-the-strip accolades, as she was an All-America first team selection a year ago.
Brown (18-4) has fenced in four tournaments, going undefeated in two of them. The team's best performance came at the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet No. 2, where the Bears went 7-0. The Crimson holds a 23-4 series advantage over Brown, including wins in the last six.
Scouting No. 2 Columbia
Columbia (17-1) has suffered only one defeat in its first 18 matches, to No. 4 Penn State. The Lions have won two consecutive tournaments, and topped the Crimson at the St. John's Invitational, 16-11. Harvard is 9-31 in the series history against Columbia.
Cornell (14-4) has competed at three invitationals with its best result coming at Vassar, where the Big Red went 7-0. Harvard is 24-9 all-time over Cornell, and has won each bout against the Big Red since 1991.
Scouting No. 6 Penn
Penn (15-5) has fenced at the OSU, Penn State and Philadelphia Invitationals, and the NYU Duals. In its last tournament, the Quakers went 4-2 with wins over Ohio State, Air Force, Stanford and UCSD. Harvard sports a 13-21 program record against Penn, and has won the last five matchups.
Scouting No. 3 Princeton
Princeton (16-4) enters the Round Robins after posting an 11-1 record during a two-day event at Northwestern. The Tigers also went 2-3 at Ohio State and 4-0 at Sacred Heart. The Crimson is 13-18 in matchups with Princeton.
Yale (8-8) has fenced at Brandeis, Drew and NYU in addition to hosting a single dual with Sacred Heart on January 31. The Bulldogs hold a 24-14 advantage over Harvard in the all-time series, though Harvard has won the last 11 meetings.
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 Alexandra Kiefer '14 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.
Leading the Way
Head coach Peter Brand is in his 16th season at the helm for the Crimson, posting 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 207-65-1 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 women's fencing posted a 16-4 record in 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.
Harvard returned seven letterwinners from last year's squad: seniors Kara Lee and Emma Väggö; juniors Isabel DiTella and Aliya Itzkowitz; and sophomores Adrienne Jarocki, Hali Nelson and Liana Yamin.
Harvard competes next at the Beanpot, hosted by Brandeis, on Feb. 11. The Crimson has won the event in each of the last seven years.