Women’s Fencing Kicks Off 2017-18 Campaign at PSU Open

Women’s Fencing Kicks Off 2017-18 Campaign at PSU Open

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's fencing team is set to open its 2017-18 slate at the Penn State Open this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4-5 in University Park, Pa.

Last Season
Harvard finished its 2016-17 campaign with a 14-8 overall record, posting a 3-3 mark against Ivy League competitors. The Crimson sent 11 fencers to the NCAA Championships, including six members of the women's team who finished fifth overall: Gabrielle Tartakovsky, MacKenzie Lawrence, Sharon Ra and Shawn Wallace, along with graduated seniors Adrienne Jarocki and Hali Nelson. Placing fifth overall at the NCAA Championships, Harvard clinched its highest placement since the 2013-14 season.

Fresh Faces
The Crimson welcomes two members to the squad representing the class of 2021: epee fencers Cindy Gao and Saanchi Kukadia.

Dual Threat
Senior MacKenzie Lawrence and junior Sharon Ra will serve as captains for the 2017-18 season. Lawrence finished last season with 44 wins and a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Ra concluded her sophomore season with a total of 63 wins, eight of which were at the NCAA Championships. Both Lawrence and Ra appeared at the Ivy League Championships last year, helping the Crimson earn a fourth-place finish.  

At the Helm
Head coach Peter Brand enters his 19th season as head coach for the Crimson, which has posted a winning record in each of the last 16 seasons under his watch. Harvard has won eight Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 250-82 record on the women's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard. 

What's Next?
The women will return to action at the Vassar tournament held in Poughkeespie, N.Y. on Dec. 3 where they face Vassar, Temple, NYU, Penn State and Sacred Heart.