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U.S. Women’s Epee Team Earns First World Cup Medal Since 2012

10/26/2015, 10:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

Bronze medalists Courtney Hurley, Kelley Hurley, Kat Holmes and Katarzyna Trzopek.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Women’s Epee Team won bronze and returned to the World Cup podium for the first time since 2012 on Sunday in Legnano, Italy.

Fencing for valuable Olympic team qualification points, Team USA upset World and Olympic medalists to win four matches and place third in a field of 26 teams. London Olympic team bronze medalists Kelley and Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) were joined by teammates Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.) and Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.)

The Americans got the tournament off to a good start with a commanding win over Finland in the table of 32 where Team USA won or tied seven bouts for a 45-35 win.

In the table of 16, Team USA took on Ukraine, the 2015 Senior World bronze medalists. Team USA neutralized 2012 Olympic Champion Yana Shemyakina, holding the reigning individual World bronze medalist to a +1 indicator over three bouts. With Ukraine up by a touch at 19-18 after eight bouts, Courtney Hurley took the strip against Kseniya Pantelyeyeva and outscored the Ukrainian, 15-8, in three minutes for a 33-27 victory.

Team USA fenced China, the reigning Senior World Champions in the quarter-finals and kept the bout match low-scoring to hold a 14-13 lead after the first six bouts. Holmes and Kelley Hurley blanked the seventh and the eighth bouts, holding Jialu Hao and Yiwen Sun, the individual gold medalist in Legnano, each scoreless. Again, the match would come down to a three-minute race between Courtney Hurley and World No. 1 Anqi Xu in the anchor bout. Xu couldn’t keep pace with Hurley who won the match, 14-10, to give Team USA the win, 28-23.

In the semifinals, Russia built a 34-20 lead after the first eight bouts. Courtney Hurley put up 12 points against Violetta Kolobova – the bronze medalist from the individual competition in Italy. Hurley couldn’t close the gap, however, and Russia took the match, 45-32. The Russians would go on to win gold and move into the No. 4 position in the world rankings.

Fencing for bronze, France led the final match, 18-16, going into the anchor bout between Courtney Hurley and Marie Florence Candassamy. Hurley went on a 12-4 run against the Frenchwoman to lock down the medal for the Americans with a 28-22 win.

Following a gold medal win at the Pan Ams and a sixth-place finish at the Johannesburg World Cup, the U.S. Women’s Epee Team currently holds a top-four position in the Olympic Rankings.

On Saturday, Trzopek, a 2015 Senior World Team member, earned her best career individual result with an eighth place finish and an upset of the tournament’s No. 1 seed, two-time reigning Senior World Champion Rossella Fiamingo (ITA), 11-10, in the table of 64.

In the table of 32, Trzopek defeated Hao, 15-9, to qualify for the 16 where she edged Courtney Hurley, 15-14. Trzopek’s only loss of the day came to 2014 Senior World team medalist Kristina Kuusk (EST) who went on to take the silver medal.

Kelley Hurley and 2014 Junior World medalist Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.) each advanced to the table of 32.

Hurley, the only U.S. fencer to be exempt from Friday’s pool rounds, won her first bout against 2015 Junior World Champion Coraline Vitalis (FRA), 15-13. In the table of 32, Hurley lost to 2014 Senior World team silver medalist Inna Embrich (EST), 15-13.

Sirico upset Shemyakina, the 2012 Olympic Champion, 14-13, in the table of 64 to qualify for the table of 32 for the first time since 2014. In her next bout, Sirico lost to 2015 Junior world medalist Xue Qin (CHN), 15-6.

Click here to view complete individual results.

Click here to view complete team results.

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

Legnano Women’s Epee Individual World Cup
1. Yiwen Sun (CHN)
2. Kristina Kuusk (EST)
3. Violetta Kolobova (RUS)
3. Emese Szasz (HUN)
5. Anqi Xu (CHN)
6. Irina Embrich (EST0
7. Neli Paju (EST)
8. Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.)

10. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
23. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
31. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
86. Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
105. Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.)
119. Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
154. Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
160. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
182. Victoria Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
203. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
205. Nina Van Loon (Boulder, Colo.)

Legnano Women’s Epee Team World Cup
1. Russia
2. Romania
3. USA
4. France
5. China
6. Sweden
7. Estonia
8. Poland 

Tag(s): News  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Kat Holmes