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Team USA Wins Individual and Team Medals in Grenoble

11/27/2014, 5:00pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Silver medalists USA 1 (Sancchi Kukadia, Farrah Lee-Elabd, Gigi Vierheller and Belinda Mo) with Coach Sebastien Dos Santos. Photo Credit: Sebastien Dos Santos

Individual gold medalist Kenyata Plenty (second from left) and Tatijana Stewart far left) on the podium. Photo credit: Sebastien Dos Santos.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Team USA’s women’s epee fencers have won gold for the last two years at the Grenoble Epee Cadet European Cup in France and Kenyata Plenty (New York, N.Y.) kept the streak alive when she and Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah) finished first and second in France on Saturday.

Fencing in her third international tournament since becoming a U.S. citizen, Plenty went 5-1 in the first round of pools and a 6-0 result in the second round gave her the seventh seed in the direct elimination tables.

Stewart finished the pools 5-1 and 3-2 to take the 27th seed in the table of 128.

Both Americans won five bouts to advance to the quarter-finals in a field of 186 fencers from 18 countries.

Plenty defeated two French opponents in her opening direct elimination bouts with wins against Alix Richet Cooper (FRA), 15-6, and Galiay Blandine (FRA), 14-13.

After a 15-13 win against Elvira Martensson (SWE) in the table of 32, Plenty upset the top-ranked fencer in the tournament, Francesca Cugini (ITA), 9-8.

She kept her winning streak alive with a victory over teammate Sancchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.) to move on to the quarters.

Stewart, who is fencing in her first season on the international circuit, defeated Zoe Gohin (FRA), 15-10, in the table of 128 and Nicole Emeline Agob (ARM), 15-9, in the 64.

In the table of 32, Stewart won her bout against Lea Mayer (GER), 15-12, and went on to defeat Aliya Bayram (FRA), 15-13.

Stewart fenced Ekaterina Tarasova for the second time of the day in the table of eight. After falling to Tarasova in the pools, Stewart lost to the Russian, but rebounded in the repechage with a 15-4 win against 2014 Cadet European Team Champion Valeriya Chuklinova (RUS).

In the quarter-finals, Plenty defeated Valentina Bos (NED), 15-7, and Stewart Kristina Yasinskaya (RUS), 15-6.

With two medals for Team USA secured, Plenty fenced Bayram in the semifinals and won the bout, 15-12. Stewart avenged her previous losses to Tarasova with a 15-8 win against Tarasova.

In the gold medal final, Plenty led throughout the bout, but Stewart came back to tie the score at 14. Plenty scored a single to take the gold, 15-14.

On Sunday, Kukadia, 2014 Cadet World Team member Gigi VIerheller (Houston, Texas) represented USA 1 with teammates Kukadia, Farrah Lee-Elabd (San Antonio, Texas) and Belinda Mo (Irvine, Texas) to win silver in the team event.

USA 1 went 3-0 to finish pools and advance to the semifinals as the second seed. USA 1 defeated Russia, 45-42, in the semifinals, to qualify for the gold medal round against France 1. The French team won the match, 45-28, to earn the title in front a home crowd.

Fencing for USA 2, Stewart, Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.), Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.) and Barbara VanBenthuysen (The Woodlands, Texas), fell three touches short of the medal rounds when the Americans dropped just one pool match to France 1, 45-42.

USA 2 rebounded to finish fifth after a 45-35 win against Estonia and a 45-40 victory over France 2.

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

Grenoble Individual Epee Cadet European Cup
1. Kenyata Plenty (New York, N.Y.)
2. Tatijana Stewart (Ogden, Utah)

3. Aliya Bayram (FRA)
3. Ekaterina Tarasova (RUS)
5. Karoline Loit (EST)
6. Kristina Yasinskaya (RUS)
7. Camille Nabeth (FRA)
8. Valentina Bos (NED)

9. Sancchi Kukadia (Manhasset, N.Y.)
11. Farrah Lee-Elabd (San Antonio, Texas)
18. Barbara VanBenthuysen (The Woodlands, Texas)
21. Belinda Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
22. Meghan O’Reilly (Akron, Ohio)
23. Gigi Vierheller (Houston, Texas)
26. Huda Aldadah (Peoria, Ill.)
30. Greta Candreva (Katonah, N.Y.)
67. Dasha Yefremenko (Manalapan, N.J.)
69. Pauline Hamilton (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
73. Kendyl Bree (Houston, Texas)
87. Brooke Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
89. Camille Simmons (Bellaire, Texas)
116. Hanna Lee (Las Vegas, Nev.)
136. Sofia Komar (Laurence Harbor, N.J.)
164. Kriti Narayan (Plano, Texas)

Grenoble Team Epee Cadet European Cup
1. France 1
2. USA 1
3. Russia 1
4. Russia 2
5. USA 2
6. France 2
7. Switzerland
8. Estonia 

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