CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After posting a 5-0 shutout record at the St. John's Invitational in its last tournament appearance, the Harvard men's fencing team is set for its home opener against NYU this Sunday, Feb. 4 at the Malkin Athletic Center. The bout will be broadcast live on the Ivy League Network at 1 p.m.
Last Time Out
Harvard (9-1) competed at the St. John's Invitational, Jan. 20, sweeping all five top-ranked opponents. The Crimson recorded five wins over No. 2 Columbia (14-13), No. 1 Notre Dame (15-12), No. 2 Ohio State (14-13) and No. 4 Penn State (14-1) and No. 8 St. John's (14-13). Junior Eli Dershwitz led Harvard with a 14-1 record in sabre and a plus-38 touch differential. Duncan Rheingans-Yoo followed closely behind with a 11-4 record in foil, while George Haglund trailed with a plus-23 touch differential.
Dershwitz leads sabre fencers overall with a 14-1 record, Rheingans-Yoo tops foil at 36-10 and Charles Horowitz paces epee at 34-14.
The Violets are currently 12-8 going into Sunday's bout after most recently posting an 8-4 record at the Philadelphia Invitational, Jan. 20 and 21. NYU is currently ranked ____ in the country and is led by Mickey Bak in sabre with a 38-8 record.
NYU holds Harvard's only loss of the season, narrowly defeating the Crimson 14-13 at the Tradition Tournament on Dec. 3.
Harvard finished its 2016-17 campaign with a 10-9 overall record, posting a 1-4 mark against Ivy League competitors. The Crimson sent 11 fencers to the NCAA Championships, including five members of the men's team who finished fifth overall: Albert Chien, Matthew Branman, George Haglund, Eli Dershwitz and Erwin Cai. Dershwitz captured the NCAA Championship crown, defeating Wayne State's Zaid Elsissy 15-10 in the sabre category and becoming the first men's fencing team member to clinch an individual title since 2007.
The Crimson welcomes four members to the squad representing the class of 2021: epee fencers Charles Horowitz and Adrian Thein-Sandler, foil fencer Geoffrey Tourette and sabre fencer Edward Zhao.
Senior Eric Zhao and junior Eli Dershwitz will serve as captains for the 2017-18 season. Zhao returns for his second straight year as captain, finishing last season with a 41-35 overall record and placing 12th at the NCAA Regionals. Dershwitz dominated competition last year, tallying a 69-10 overall mark and capturing the titles in the NCAA Championship and the men's sabre Ivy League Championship.
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 195-87 record on the men's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard.
Junior Eli Dershwitz competed for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dershwitz is the seventh Harvard fencer to compete in the Olympics, with the last being Emily Cross '09 and Noam Mills '12 who both competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Sherborn, Massachusetts native was the top-ranked U.S. sabre fencer, and was the youngest fencer to compete for the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics at the age of 20.
Harvard will quickly return to action Feb. 10-11 for the Ivy League Championships in Princeton, N.J.