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Team USA Wins Third Straight Junior World Silver in Women’s Foil

04/14/2013, 7:15pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

The U.S. Junior Women's Foil Team won silver in Croatia. (L-R): Jackie Dubrovich, Sara Taffel, Lee Kiefer and Margaret Lu. Photo Credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

Eli Dershwitz (left) anchored Team USA to a fourth-place men's saber result. Photo credit: Serge Timacheff / FIE /

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The rivalry between the United States and Italy in women’s foil continued on Saturday when the two best junior teams in the world took to the finals strip for the third straight year at the Junior World Championships in Porec, Croatia.

The U.S. squad of Lee Kiefer (Lexington, Ky.), Margaret Lu (Greenwich, Conn.), Jackie Dubrovich (Riverdale, N.J.) and Sara Taffel (New York City, N.Y.) began the day as the top seeded team and earned a bye into the 16 where Dubrovich anchored for the first time and Team USA defeated Venezuela, 45-16.

In the quarter-finals, Lu, Dubrovich and Kiefer won eight of nine bouts against Korea to advance with a score of 45-26.

Team USA faced Canada in the semifinals with Lu stepping in as anchor – a role she held for senior squad when the Americans finished fourth at the World Cup in Tauberbischofsheim in March. Team USA won or tied six of the nine bouts against Canada for a 45-36 finish.

Fencing Italy in the gold medal finals for the third straight year, the Americans trailed the Italians, 12-11, after the third bout.

Kiefer outscored Martina Sinigalia, 6-2, to give Team USA a 17-14 lead.

Dubrovich started out well in the fifth bout against the individual Junior World Champion, Camilla Mancini, as she grew the lead to 23-18 for Team USA, but the Italian had half the period left to undo Dubrovich’s work and she went on an 8-1 run to push the score to 25-24 for Italy.

In the sixth bout, Lu fenced Francesca Palumbo for the second time this week after losing their bout in the table of 16. While Palumbo went on to win bronze in the individual event, Lu was determined to avenge the loss. Unfortunately, Palumbo brought Italy’s score to 30-26.

Neither Dubrovich nor Kiefer were able to turn the tide as they dropped bouts to Sinigalia and Palumbo. The losses put Lu at a nine touch deficit going into the final bout against Mancini.

Lu tied Mancini with five touches, but Mancini couldn’t be caught and Italy won the bout, 45-36.

“I was really really really nervous, mainly because I put so much pressure on myself because I know we really wanted to win and thought this year was our year to do it,” said Lu who was on each of the teams that won silver in 2011 and 2012. “We all have another year left in juniors, so we’re not out yet and hopefully we’ll be able to come back and win it next year.”

The U.S. Men’s Saber Team also fenced on Saturday and advanced to the medal rounds for the first time since 2010.

The team of Eli Dershwitz (Sherborn, Mass.), Kaito Streets (Redwood City, Calif.), Andrew Mackiewicz (Westwood, Mass.) and Geoffrey Loss (Laguna Beach, Calif.) was seeded third after Dershwitz won bronze in the individual event and Mackiewicz finished in the top 16.

Team USA opened with a bye into the table of 16 where the Americans led from start to finish with Dershwitz closing the match, 45-36.

In the quarter-finals, Korea led by a touch, 30-29, at the conclusion of the sixth bout. Streets scored six touches to Chang Jae Kim’s one in the next bout to give the Americans a 35-31 lead. Mackiewicz increased Team USA’s cushion against Korea by another touch after a 5-4 victory over Sung Bin Moon. Dershwitz began his bout as anchor with a 40-35 lead and held off Hojin Chung to take the win for Team USA, 45-41.

Streets was replaced by Loss in Team USA’s semifinal bout against Germany. Prior to beginning his freshman year at Columbia last fall, Loss spent a year training in Germany which would prove to be beneficial for Team USA when Loss outscored Robin Schroedter, 8-5 in the seventh bout.

Even with the three touches for Team USA, Germany still led the bout, 35-24 when Mackiewicz took the strip. Mackiewicz dropped a touch to Richard Huebers and Germany went into the ninth bout with a 40-28 lead.

Dershwitz scored six on Max Kindler, but Germany won the match, 45-34. The Germans would go on to win their third Junior World title in the past four years.

In the bronze medal final, Dershwitz, Loss and Mackiewicz faced Hungary – the reigning Junior World Championship Team.

While Team USA kept within Hungary by two touches for the first six bouts of the match, Hungary’s substitution of Martin Singer into the sixth bout against Loss gave them a new level of momentum – and a 35-30 lead. In the eighth bout, Mackiewicz took on Marton Csaba who had split bouts with both Loss and Dershwitz earlier in the match. This time, Csaba held Mackiewicz to just one touch to give Hungary a 40-31 lead.

In a rematch of his semifinal in the individual rounds, Dershwitz anchored the Americans against Andras Szatmari (HUN). Dershwitz split touches against the Hungarian, 5-5, to end the match with a 45-36 loss and a fourth-place result for the Americans.

Preliminary competition also was held on Saturday in the men’s epee event.

The U.S. team of Alex House (Upton, Mass.), Lewis Weiss (Houston, Texas), Conor Shepard (Colleyville, Texas) and Ariel Simmons (Bellaire, Texas) defeated Hong Kong, 45-37, in the table of 32, but lost to Israel in the table of 16 by the same score to finish 11th overall.

Competition continues on Sunday with the women’s team epee event.

Three members of the squad that won bronze in 2012 will return to action in the women’s epee competition. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.), Audrey Abend (New York City, N.Y.) and Anna Van Brummen (Houston, Texas) will be joined by first-time Junior World Team member Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)

Click here to watch the action live on the FIE YouTube Channel. 


Click here for complete results.


Top eight results are as follows:


Junior Men’s Team Saber
1. Germany
2. Italy
3. Hungary
4. USA
5. Russia
6. Belarus
7. Ukraine
8. Korea

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


Tag(s): News  Eli Dershwitz  Jackie Dubrovich  Lee Kiefer