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Harvard Women's Fencing Hosts Tufts Saturday

Sun, Harvard women's fencing co-captain, will lead the Crimson women's squad in the team's first home match on Saturday against Tufts. She went 11-2 at her last meet, the Penn State Invitational last weekend. (Gil Talbot)

The Particulars
Harvard hosts the Tufts Jumbos in its only home dual meet of the 2011-12 campaign at the Malkin Athletic Center Saturday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m.

Last Time Out
Harvard is coming off a 5-1 performance at the Penn State Invitational held in State College, Pa., Dec. 3. The Crimson dominated the competition defeating Vassar, Temple, North Carolina, New York University, and Sacred Heart by a combined score of 100-35. The only team Harvard did not defeat was defending national champion Penn State, who got the best of the Crimson by five points, 16-11.

Senior co-captain Caroline Vloka posted a perfect 18-0 record during the meet with sophomore Alexandra Kiefer (17-1), freshman Emma Vaggo (14-2) and junior co-captain Felicia Sun (11-2) all put forth strong efforts during the event.

Scouting Harvard
This weekend's competition is the Crimson's only home dual meet of the 2011-12 campaign and is the third event of the season. Harvard's only other home event will be on Feb. 14 when the Crimson plays host to the Beanpot.

Harvard is led by senior co-captains Caroline Vloka (saber) and junior Felicia Sun (epee). The Crimson enters the weekend with a 5-1 record after competing in the Penn State Invitational last weekend.

Harvard also took part in the Garret Open on Nov. 19 and had two fencers medal as Vloka took gold in the saber and defending national champion Alexandra Kiefer took top honors in the foil competition.

Scouting Tufts
This marks the first event that Tufts will comepte in this year. Current head coach Ariana Klinkov enters his second season with the Jumbos and looks to improve upon last year's results. Tufts boasted several NCAA Regional competitors during the 2010-11 campaign and looks to continue its progression.

The saber fencers are led by Sarah Danly, Julia Hisey, and Briana Smith while the Jumbos will rely upon Laurel Hutchinson to lead a very young epee squad, after graduating two senior captains this past year.

Meanwhile in the foil field, first-year Simone Feldman is expected to produce along with Eva Parish and Isabella Connelly.

Series History
Harvard has dominated the series against Tufts, currently holding the advantage 18-0. The Crimson maintains a combined score of 299-104 against the Jumbos.

Home Sweet Home
Harvard hasn't exactly been a hospitable host to those that visit the Malkin Athletic Center. The Crimson hasn't lost a dual meet in Cambridge, Mass., since the 2002-03 season. In that time Harvard has gone 28-0 and outscored its opponents by a combined score of 554-175. Last season Harvard went 5-0 at home defeating Tufts in a dual match and beating Penn, Duke and Hunter College at the Eric Sollee Invitational.

Oh Captain, My Captain
Senior Caroline Vloka has been prolific for the Harvard Crimson in her career and has been everything you want a captain to be. The former national champion has had a great start to her senior campaign winning gold at the Garret Open and going a sterling 18-0 at the Penn State invitational. Last season she was a semifinalist at the NCAA Fencing Championships earning All-American honors.

Seeing Crimson
Caroline Vloka gives Harvard Crimson fans an inside look into the world of fencing and what she looks to do during a bout. Watch it here. 

Defending Her Crown
Alexandra Kiefer quickly became a household name at Harvard and the fencing world in her freshman season after impressing throughout much of last year. However the sophomore fencer's crowning achievement came at the NCAA championships where she earned an individual national title in the foil competition. Kiefer has picked up right where she left off last season winning gold at the Garret Open and recording a 17-1 mark at the Penn State Invitational. Kiefer was also tabbed as one of five "Players to Watch" by NCAA.com.