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U.S. Women’s Epee Team Wins Silver at World University Games

08/18/2011, 12:00pm CDT
By No Author

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Women’s Epee Team won its second medal of the season at the World University Games in Shenzen, China on Tuesday when Team USA earned the silver medal.

The squad included two members of the gold medal winning Pan Am Championship Team – sisters Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas), both former National Champions from Notre Dame – as well as 2009 Senior World Team member Susannah Scanlan (St. Paul, Minn. / Princeton University) and Holly Buechel (New York City, N.Y. / City College of New York).

Team USA started its first bout against Hong Kong slowly as Buechel, Scanlan and Kelley Hurley held their opponents to a score of 12. In the fourth bout, Scanlan earned eight touches to bring the United States to a 20-15 lead. In the fifth bout, Courtney Hurley was substituted in for Buechel and Team USA continued to build on the lead before winning the bout, 45-33.

In the quarter-finals, Scanlan and the Hurleys held a lead throughout the first six bouts, but the Estonians closed the gap to two touches by the end of the eighth bout. As the anchor, however, Courtney Hurley outscored Erika Kirpu by 10 touches to six to finish the win for Team USA, 45-39.

Courtney Hurley found herself in a clutch situation again as the Americans were up by just a point, 26-25, after Kelley Hurley held Anfisa Pochkalova scoreless in the eighth. In the final bout, Courtney outscored Yana Shemyakina, 10-6, to win the match, 36-31.

While Team USA had a close gold medal match against France, WUGs individual champion Lauren Rembi (FRA) won each of her bouts Kelley Hurley and Scanlan to build momentum for the French team. With a one-touch lead (35-34) going into her bout against Rembi, Courtney Hurley was outscored, 10-5, as Rembi led her team to the gold medal win.

Also competing on Tuesday, the U.S. Men’s Saber Team closed out the World University Games in sixth place.

With Team USA trailing by five touches against Japan, Daniel Bak (Franklin Lakes, N.J. / Penn State University) outscored Kenta Tokunan, 10-2, to bring Team USA to a 35-32 lead. Aleksander Ochocki (Clark, N.J. / Penn State University) picked up a touch against Kohta Arai, 5-4, to bring the score to 40-36 as Jeff Spear (Wyantskill, N.Y. / Columbia University) took the strip as the anchor. A member of the team that won gold at the Pan Ams last month, Spear is known for being an excellent team fencer and showed those skills as he outscored Ryo Mirayama (5-0) to finish the win for Team USA at 45-36.

In the quarter-finals, Bak, Spear and Ochocki were outscored by a powerful Ukrainian Team that dominated the bout before earning a 45-27 win before going on to earn the gold.

With a medal out of reach for the Americans, Team USA refocused on advancing through the 5th – 8th place bracket. The U.S. squad trailed the Chinese in front of their home fans for the first five bouts as China took a 25-19 lead, but Spear outscored Ouyang Xinhua (CHN), 11-3, to bring the Americans ahead, 30-28. Bak and Ochocki each picked up three points against their Chinese opponents and Spear finished the bout with a score of 45-41.

Team USA led Hungary for the first seven bouts of the 5th – 6th place match. With a score of 35-34, Daniel’s younger brother, Adrian Bak (Franklin Lakes, N.J. / Penn State), was substituted in against Csanad Gemesi who outscored Adrian, 6-1. Down by four, Spear mounted a comeback and earned six touches against Csaba Norbert Gall, but Team USA lost the bout, 45-42, to finish sixth.

The U.S. Women’s Foil Team also earned a sixth place finish when competition resumed on Wednesday.

After a bye in the table of 16, Team USA drew a strong Korean team that took a 10-5 lead after the first two bouts. Ambika Singh (Skillman, N.J. / Princeton University) went on a seven-touch run against Ahro Cho in the third bout, however, to give Team USA its first lead. The Koreans returned to form, however, during the subsequent bouts and, by the time five-time Senior World Team member Doris Willette (Lafayette, Calif. / Penn State University) took her position as anchor, the Americans were already trailing by 16. Although Willette outscored 2009 World silver medalist Hee-Sook Jeon by 7-5, the Koreans won the match, 45-31.

In the 5th – 8th place table, Willette, Singh, Eve Levin (New York City, N.Y. / Princeton University) and Hayley Reese (Crestwood, Ky. / University of Notre Dame) faced Germany. The two teams traded scores with Germany leading, 38-37, going into the eighth bout. Willette, a silver medalist in the individual event at the Pan Ams, outtouched Roxanne Merkl, 8-2, to end the match with a 45-30 win for Team USA.

Fencing for fifth place, Team USA took on Italy – the gold medal favorites who were upset by France, 45-44, in the quarters. Team USA rotated all four fencers in the match, but the Italians won seven of the eight bouts with the exception being Willette’s 10-5 win over 2009 Junior World medalist Martina Batini. Although Willette’s victory closed the gap to a 10-point deficit, by the ninth bout, Italy’s lead had climbed to 40-21. Willette returned as the anchor and earned nine touches against Benedetta Durando, but Durando picked up the five points she needed to earn the 45-30 win for Italy.

In the men’s team epee competition on Wednesday, Team USA drew Russia – the eventual gold medalists – in the table of 16. Although Adam Watson (Richford, Vt. / St. John’s University) and Nicholas Vomero (Centerport, N.Y. / St. John’s University) built a 10-6 lead after the first two bouts, Russia came back to take a 20-18 lead at the end of the seventh bout. Watson scored two touches against Vaeslav Morgoev to tie the bout at 22, but Russia’s anchor, Sergey Khodos, won the final bout against Vomero and Russia won the match, 38-31.

The loss put Team USA in the 9th – 16th place table with an opening bout against host nation China. The trio of Watson, Daniel Tafoya (Columbus, Ohio / Ohio State University) and Vomero were only outscored twice before winning the bout, 45-28.

In the next round, Clifford Fishler (Great Neck, N.Y. / University of Pennsylvania) entered the starting lineup with Vomero and Watson against the Czech Republic who took an early lead and went on to win the bout, 45-37.

Fencing for 11th place against Poland, Watson anchored the U.S. team again and, although he outscored Piotr Kruczek, 10-7, Team USA lost the match, 45-42, and finished 12th.

On Thursday, Team USA ended the team competition with a sixth-place finish in the men’s foil event.

Seeded fourth, the U.S. team of Miles Chamley-Watson (Philadelphia, Pa. / Penn State University), David Willette (Lafayette, Calif. / Penn State University), Ariel DeSmet (Portland, Ore. / University of Notre Dame) and Turner Caldwell (San Francisco, Calif. / Stanford University) defeated Belarus, 45-33, in the table of 16.

In the quarter-finals, Chamley-Watson, a fifth-place finisher at the 2010 Senior Worlds, contributed 22 points in Team USA’s bout against Korea, but the Koreans, led by World University Games individual bronze medalist Kyeong Sik Moon, won the match, 45-39.

Team USA took on the Ukraine in the 5th – 8th place table and Caldwell earned the lead for the Americans, 15-14, when he outscored Pavlo Syrachynskyy, 8-4, in the third bout. Willette, Caldwell and DeSmet each earned five touches in the next five bouts to build a 12-point lead for DeSmet as he anchored the final bout against Klod Yunes. Although Yunes made an excellent comeback, DeSmet held him off to finish the match, 45-40.

In match for fifth place, DeSmet, Willette and Caldwell met the French team who led throughout the bout. The 15-point deficit was too much for three-time Junior World medalist Willette to make up and Team USA lost the match, 45-31.

The final team to compete at the World University Games, the U.S. Women’s Saber Team finished eighth on Thursday.

Lian Osier (Battle Ground, Wash. / University of Notre Dame), Faizah Muhammad (Maplewood, N.J. / New Jersey Institute of Technology) and Nicole Glon (State College, Pa. / Penn State University) won eight of nine bouts en route to taking the match win against Hong Kong, 45-32.

Down by 14 points against Ukraine in the quarter-finals, Osier outscored Alina Komashchuk, 9-5, in the sixth bout to shrink Ukraine’s lead to 10 with a score of 30-20. In the seventh bout, Emily Cheng (Gold River, Calif. / Ohio State University) outtouched 2008 Olympic Team Champion Galina Pundyk, 6-5, but Komashchuk won the eighth against Muhammad, 5-1. Going into the final bout, Ukraine led the match, 40-27. Osier tied the final bout, 5-5, against 2010 World medalist Olena Khomrova, but Ukraine won the match, 45-32.

All four U.S. team members fenced in the 5th – 8th place match against Poland, but the Americans lost a close match, 45-39.

Fencing for seventh place, the Italians led the team of Muhammad, Osier and Glon, 40-22, after eight bouts. Team USA substituted Cheng into the match for the anchor bout against Loreta Gulotta. Gulotta scored the fifth touch to win the match, 45-27, and left Team USA with an eighth place finish.

Top eight and U.S. results for the team events are as follows:

Men’s Team Saber
1. Ukraine
2. Italy
3. Korea
4. France
5. Hungary
6. USA
7. China
8. Spain

Men’s Team Epee
1. Russia
2. France
3. Hungary
4. Portugal
5. Ukraine
6. Switzerland
7. Italy
8. Kazakhstan

12. USA

Men’s Team Foil
1. China
2. Italy
3. Russia
4. Korea
5. France
6. USA
7. Ukraine
8. Poland

Women’s Team Epee
1. France
2. USA
3. Russia
4. Ukraine
5. Italy
6. China
7. Estonia
8. Korea

Women’s Team Foil
1. Russia
2. Poland
3. France
4. Korea
5. Italy
6. USA
7. Japan
8. Germany

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