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U.S. Junior Women’s Saber Team Wins Bronze in Sosnowiec

10/28/2014, 8:45am CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA with the bronze medal award. (L-R): Violet Michel, Regina O'Brien, Marta Lasota and Sage Palmedo. Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Michel.

Team USA (L-R): Violet Michel, Regina O'Brien, Sage Palmedo and Marta Lasota.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Women’s Saber Team won its second medal of the Junior World Cup season on Sunday with a bronze in Sosnowiec, Poland.

Following a silver medal in San Jose, Costa Rica last month, Team USA travelled to its first European tournament of the new season and three-time Junior World medalist Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.) anchored a squad that included 2014 Cadet World Team member Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.), Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.) and Marta Lasota (Silver Spring, Md.)

Seeded second in the tournament, Team USA earned a bye into the quarter-final bout against Ukraine. Although Ukraine was anchored by Iryna Shchukla who won gold in the individual event on Saturday, Team USA took the match, 45-41.

In the semifinals, Sara Balzer anchored France’s squad after winning bronze in the individual event. Michel gave Team USA a strong start with a 5-3 win over Balzer in the opening bout, but France built a 40-34 lead by the end of the eighth bout. Despite outscoring Balzer, 7-5, Palmedo was unable to overcome the deficit in the anchor leg and France won the match, 45-41.

The bronze medal final pitted Team USA against Mexico – a team that defeated the Americans in Costa Rica and included three athletes with top-six world rankings.

Lasota came into the team’s starting lineup for the first time and posted 6-2 wins over both Julieta Toledo and Kin Escamilla. With Team USA up, 40-34, Palmedo won her bout against Toledo, 5-3, and closed out the victory for Team USA, 45-37.

In the individual event, two-time Junior World team medalist Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.) moved into a top-10 world ranking after taking a seventh-place finish in Poland.

After a 15-7 win over Lena Kelecsenyi (HUN), Russo picked up a pair of 15-14 victories over 2014 Junior World Team Champion Anna Bashta (RUS) and Larissa Eifler (GER) in the table of 32 and 16, respectfully.

Russo fell one victory short of a medal, however, when she lost to Balzer, 15-10, in the quarters.

In the previous round, Balzer defeated Palmedo, 15-11. Palmedo finished 16th and retains her No. 1 world ranking.

Click here to view complete individual results.

Click here to view complete team results.

Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:

Sosnowiec Individual Saber Junior World Cup
1. Iryna Shchukla (UKR)
2. Ekaterina Kostina (RUS)
3. Sara Balzer (FRA)
3. Petra Zahonyi (HUN)
5. Ekaterina Vorobyeva (RUS)
6. Valentina Volkmann (GER)
7. Francesca Russo (Wayne, N.J.)
8. Rebecca Gargano (ITA)

16. Sage Palmedo (Portland, Ore.)
23. Tara Hassett (Beaverton, Ore.)
38. Regina O’Brien (Wellesley, Mass.)
43. Marta Lasota (Silver Spring, Md.)
47. Violet Michel (Cambridge, Mass.)
60. Anastasia Ivanoff (Los Angeles, Calif.)
86. Lena Johnson (Peachtree City, Ga.)
90. Jessica Whang (Westfield, N.J.)
91. Maia Chamberlain (Menlo Park, Calif.)
107. Riya Dave (Ardsley, N.Y.)
109. Sarah Merza (Wayne, N.J.)

Sosnowiec Team Saber Junior World Cup
1. France
2. Hungary
3. USA
4. Mexico
5. Ukraine
6. Russia
7. Japan
8. Poland

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