Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
The Harvard fencing teams came up just short of an Ivy League title at the Ivy League Championships, Part II yesterday, bouting against conference opponents Columbia, Brown, and Princeton.
Both the men’s and women’s Crimson squads easily beat the Bears, only to be thwarted by eventual Ivy champions, the Tigers.
Against the Lions, the women suffered their second conference loss in a close 14-13 match while the men swept Columbia, 21-6.
“Coming into the tournament, both teams had a chance to at least tie for the Ivy title,” Crimson coach Peter Brand said. “Although we fell short in the end, I’m overall pleased with the performances.”
Considering that this time last season the men’s team was tied for last place in the Ivy race, second place—although not bearing a title—is a vast improvement.
Both Crimson teams faced Brown initially to open the tournament. The women, led by sophomore co-captains Noam Mills and Caroline Vloka, defeated the Bears convincingly, 24-3. The women posted 8-1 finishes in each the epée, foil, and sabre.
Similarly, the men took down Brown in a decisive 20-7 victory headed by sophomore Valentin Staller, who earned a perfect 9-0 record on the sabre in the tournament.
The Bears were only able to edge Harvard in the foil, 5-4, with the Crimson asserting an 8-1 advantage in both the sabre and epée.
The men continued their domination against the Lions, winning all three weapons, but conceded their winning streak in the 18-9 loss to the Princeton.
The Harvard men garnered a 5-4 victory in the sabre, but the Tigers were able to maintain a 7-2 advantage in the foil and epée.
“We hoped to beat Princeton in the tournament,” captain Karl Harmenberg said. “We did our best but ultimately were unable to.”
On the women’s end, the Crimson fell in close matches to both Columbia and Princeton, 14-13. In its bout against the Lions, Harvard dropped the sabre, 7-2, and the epée, 5-4, but won the foil, 7-2.
Against Princeton, the women gained the sabre and foil, 5-4, but lost the epée, 6-3, consequently losing the match.
“The women’s team fenced extremely well, losing two really close bouts,” Mills said. “Hopefully next year we can come back and win.”
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