Harvard men's fencing returns this season after clinching a share of the title (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The fencing team opens its 2015-16 season with the two-day Penn State Open. The women will compete on Saturday while the men take the strips on Sunday.
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Harvard went 13-5-1 during the 2014-15 season, finishing seventh as a team at the NCAA Championships. On the women's side, returners Adrienne Jarocki earned first team All-America honors for the second-straight season along with Aliya Itzkowitz who earned All-America honorable mention. All-America status was awarded to Eli Dershwitz who received first team and Jerry Chang who earned second team from the men's team. Departed seniors Emma Väggö and Brian Kaneshige earned All-America honor.
Harvard returns 15 letterwinners from last year's squad: Sabre fencers Aliya Itzkowitz, Adrienne Jarocki, Duncan O'Brien, Eric Zhao, foil fencers Mackenzie Lawrence, Hali Nelson, Liana Yamin, Hellary Zhang, Jerey Chang, Stephen Mageras, Michael Woo, and epee fencers Peregrine Badger, Alexander Eldeib, Artidoro Pagnoni, Nicolas Simko.
Scouting Penn State
As a team, Penn completed last year 20-9. The men's squad finished tied for third at the Ivy League Championships and fourth at NCAA's while the women's squad tied for second and placed 14th, respectively.
Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State opened the 2015-16 slate with an 8-0 sweep at the OSU Duals in Columbus, Ohio for the 12th consecutive year. The Buckeyes also sent 16 fencers to compete in the October Division I North American Cup in Richmond, Virginia and six of them finished inside the top 32.
Scouting North Carolina
North Carolina opened up its season at the Temple Open where four Tarheels earned top-10 finishes which included freshman Connor Ritchey finishing tied for third in men's sabre and junior Amanda Lalezarian tied for sixth in women's foil.
Scouting Notre Dame
Opening up the 2015-16 season with individual competition at the USA Fencing 2015 North American Cup, Notre Dame earned two golds from Jonah Shainberg in men's sabre and Gerek Meinhardt '13 in men's foil. From the women's team, Kelley Hurley '13 won bronze in epee while Sabrina Massialas earned silver in women's foil.
Scouting Johns Hopkins
Temple recorded six fencers placing in the top 20 at the Temple Open to start the 2015-16 schedule. Senior Glenn Balbus and Ian Maddox led the way with top-10 finishes in foil. On the women's side, junior Natasha Winey and freshman Celine Shanosky placed sixth and seventh, respectively in epee.
The women fencers from Temple started the season off strong by capturing six top-three marks at its own Open including wins in foil by senior Fatima Largaespada and sabre by freshman Blessing Olaode.
Brown opens its 2015-16 season at the Penn State Open. At the conclusion of last year, the Bears placed 13th out of 25 schools, tying for the best team finish in program history, at the NCAA Championships.
Yale wrapped up the year last year placing 18th and 19th in women's and men's fencing, respectively, at the NCAA Championships. The Bulldogs add four women fencers and seven men fencers to the roster this year.
Leading the Way
Head coach Peter Brand enters his 18th season at the helm for the Crimson, which has posted a winning record in the last 14 seasons under his watch. Harvard has won seven Ivy League Championships during his tenure, while also winning the 2006 National Championship. Brand owns a 173-75 record on the men's side and has coached a combined 47 All-Americans at Harvard.
Harvard has added four women freshmen to the 2015-16 roster including Liana Henderson-Semel (foil), Sharon Ra (epee), gabby Tartakovsky (sabre) and Shawn Wallace (epee). The men's team sees one addition in Albert Chien (epee).
Aye Aye, Captain
Adrienne Jarocki '17 and Liana Yamin '17, of the women's team, and Duncan O'Brien '16 and Michael Woo '16, of the men's team were named were named the captains for the 2015-16 campaign. O'Brien enters his second year as captain.
The women's team hosts a bout against Wellesley on Dec. 3 which will be broadcast on the Ivy League Digital Network starting at 6 p.m. The men's team is off until Dec. 6 when it along with the women competes in Fairfield, Conn. against Sacred Heart, Temple, New York University, Penn State and Vassar.