Harvard women at Tradition Tournament

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Harvard women's fencing team kept its 2013-14 record perfect as the Crimson downed all five of its opponents at the Tradition Tournament hosted by Sacred Heart at the Pitt Center on Sunday. 

Harvard improves to 6-0 for the first time since beginning 7-0 in 2010-11. 

The top performer for the Crimson was sabre fencer sophomore Aliya Itzkowitz, who dropped a single bout to post a 14-1 record. Freshman Adrienne Jarocki followed with a mark of 13-2 while junior Kara Lee finished the day at 10-5. In the foil, freshman Hali Nelson and senior Alexandra Kiefer went 13-2. Freshman Liana Yamin rounded out the foilist with a 10-5 mark. Epeeist Isabel DiTella went 12-3 while sophomore Nina van Loon compiled a 12-2 record.

The Crimson opened the tournament with a 16-11 victory against Penn State. Harvard topped Vassar 26-1 in round two and went on to best Sacred Heart 23-4, to remain unbeaten against the schools all-time. 

In round four, the Crimson defeated Temple 17-10 to take the lead in the all-time series.Harvard closed out the tournament with a 24-3 victory against New York University. The win stretches the Crimson's undefeated streak against the Violets to 16 matches.

Harvard men at Tradition Tournament

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Harvard opened its 111th season with a 4-1 performance at the Tradition Tournament hosted by Sacred Heart at the Pitt Center on Sunday. 

The sabre squad paced the Crimson's performance as senior Eric Arzoian, sophomore Duncan O'Brien and junior Alexander Ryjik each finished the tournament with 12-3 record. Junior Brian Kaneshige and sophomore Jerry Chang posted 10-5 marks in the foil. In his first collegiate tournament, freshman Alexander Eldeib posted a 11-4 record followed by senior Michael Raynis who went 10-5. Nicolas Simko rounded out Harvard's competitors as the sophomore finished the day 9-6 in the epee.

In the tournament's first round, the Crimson fell to Penn State 15-12 but bounced back to win four consecutive duals. 

Harvard downed Vassar 26-1 to record its first victory of the year before downing Sacred Heart 17-10. The wins kept the Crimson unbeaten against the Brewers and the Pioneers all-time. 

Harvard met Stevens in round four on the strip for the second time in program history. The Crimson bested the Ducks 23-4 to hold both victories in the all-time series. 

The Crimson closed out the tournament with a 18-9 win against New York University. 

Princeton at Tradition Tournament

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Princeton teams combined to win seven of their eight dual meets at the Sacred Heart meet Sunday, the team's final competition before getting going again in February.

Princeton's men won three of four, defeating Sacred Heart, NYU and Vassar but taking a 20-7 loss to Penn State. The women swept their four foes, winning at least 24 bouts each against Sacred Heart, NYU and Vassar while defeating Penn State 19-8.

With their sweep, the Princeton women ran their dual-match win streak to 26, not having lost since Feb. 2, 2013 against Ohio State at Northwestern, which will host Princeton's next competition on the first weekend of February.

Columbia at Brandeis Invitational

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Columbia swept all 10 of its matches in the Brandeis Invitational at the Gosman Athletic Center Sunday. The Lion men and women took the measure of one intersectional opponent, Air Force, Johns Hopkins and three local schools -- the host Judges, Boston College and MIT.

The Lions faced pressure right from the start, when they took on Air Force. Men and women both won by comfortable margins, 21-6 for the men and 18-9 for the women, but the scores were deceptive, as Columbia fought several battles.

The first-years' effects were particularly appreciated in women's epee, which beat Air Force 7-2 behind a trio of freshmen. Nina Moiseiwitsch won all three of her bouts, while Vivian Rand and Mason Speta each won two of three.

Drew Johnston led the men against the Falcons, going 3-0 in foil, while Chris Ahn was 2-1 in sabre.

The veterans got into the act too, as junior Will Spear in sabre, sophomore Adam Mathieu in foil, and sophomore Brian Ro in epee all went 3-0. In the women's match, sophomore Jackie Dubrovich was 3-0 in foil, including a 5-4 clutch victory against Air Force ace Mary McElwee, and sophomore Sarah Yee was 2-0 in sabre.

Another veteran, junior Nzingha Prescod, has offered to move from her accustomed foil, where she is a ranking world standout, to sabre, a weapon in which Columbia lacks experienced competitors. She lost her first two bouts, but earned a rousing ovation from her teammates when she beat Ally Egan in the third round.

Against Brandeis, Columbia overcame the Judges' home-court advantage with 20-7 (men) and 23-4 (women) triumphs. Several women went 3-0, including Prescod, Dubrovich and three frosh -- Rand and Speta in epee, and Jessie Laffey in foil. First-year sabrist Michael Costin was 3-0 in sabre, with sophomore epeeist Jake Hoyle and Mathieu posting the same marks.

Brian Ro and Vivian Rand had impressive come-from-behind 5-4 wins. The latter rallied from a 4-3 deficit to tie her bout and send it into overtime, which she won.

Come-from-behind triumphs were the order of the day, as Columbia captured a sizable number. Sophomore sabreman Geoff Loss, for instance, fell behind Paul Vitale of Johns Hopkins 4-0 -- just one touch from a defeat -- and then scored five consecutive touches for the win. Prescod beat Lisa Avery of MIT 5-3 after trailing 3-1.

Matched in her past three matches against the opponent's No. 1 sabrist, Prescod came through again and again. She defeated Rachel Kalina of Johns Hopkins in a protracted battle 5-4, holding off a determined Kalina charge. She was 7-2 on the day.

Brown at Brandeis Invitational

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior captain Kathryn Hawrot, senior Caitlin Taylor and rookie Alex Palabrica posted strong performances across all squads to help the Bears go undefeated for the second meet in a row at the Brandeis Invitational on Sunday. Both the men's and women's teams went 3-0.

Brown's victory against St. John's (N.Y.) turned an extended rivalry between the two squads back in the Bears' favor. After falling to the Red Storm for the past few years, the Bears won by a narrow 14-13 margin on the men's and women's sides. In addition, the women defeated MIT (15-12) and Air Force (17-10), while the men also beat the Engineers (17-10) and the Falcons (21-6).

"I think St. John's was a big, big win," Hawrot said. "Overall, I'd say a pretty good start off to our real competitive season."

Hawrot led the women's foil squad by going 8-1, while Taylor also notched an impressive 8-1 mark for women's saber. Women's saber had a successful day overall, with junior Christine Whalen posting a 7-2 record and sophomore Lauren Altman going 6-3. On the men's team, sophomore Simon Jones led the epeeists with a 7-1 record. Junior captain Barrett Weiss and sophomore Kyle Kennedy both notched 7-2 marks for the men's foil, while Palabrica went 8-1 and junior Nick Deak went 7-2 for the men's saber.