CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Traveling to Poughkeepsie, New York for the Tradition Tournament this Sunday, Dec. 3, the Harvard women's fencing team will face off against host Vassar, NYU, Penn, Penn State, Princeton, Sacred Heart and Temple in its first dual matches of the season.
Last Time Out
The Crimson last competed Nov. 4-5 at the Penn State Open to kick off its 2017-18 season. Six members of the squad finished in the top 10 in their respective weapon categories, as Saanchi Kukadia captured bronze, finishing tied for third in the epee category.
Scouting the Field
Harvard finished last year's Tradition Tournament with a 3-2 overall record, facing competitors from five other schools. Junior Shawn Wallace led the charge for epee, posting an 11-4 record and plus-31-touch differential throughout the tournament. The Crimson earned victories over Vassar (24-3), Sacred Heart (23-4) and NYU (22-5), while narrowly falling to both Penn State (14-13) and Temple (15-12).
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.
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.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
The women are back in action this Tuesday, Dec. 5 hosting Wellesley and Tufts at the Malkin Athletic Center. All matches will be broadcast on the Ivy League Network.