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U.S. Women’s Epee Team Qualifies for Rio, Courtney Hurley Places 15th

01/26/2016, 9:30pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

Team USA in Barcelona. (L-R): Francesca Bassa, Amanda Sirico, Kat Holmes, Natalie Vie, Kelley Hurley, Courtney Hurley, Coach Andrey Geva, Anna van Brummen and Katarzyna Trzopek. Photo Credit: Andrey Geva

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The U.S. Women’s Epee Team became the latest fencing squad to qualify for the Rio Olympic Games on Sunday with an eighth place finish at the Barcelona World Cup in Spain.

Team USA’s finish in Spain allowed the Americans to retain the No. 5 position in the Adjusted Olympic Rankings where the U.S. Women’s Epee Team will qualify as the top team in the Americas zone. With one qualifying tournament remaining, Team USA still holds the potential to earn a top-four position in the standings and allow an additional team from the Americas zone to qualify.

The U.S. team began the event with a bye into the table of 16 where two-time Olympian Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) led Team USA with three bout wins to hold Germany at a 32-32 tie going into the anchor bout between 2012 Olympian Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Ricarda Multerer. Courtney Hurley outscored the German, 6-5, to give Team USA the 38-37 win. 

In the quarter-finals, Team USA fenced Russia, but was overpowered by the 2014 Senior World Champions who won eight bouts and took the match, 45-34.

Team USA struggled in the 5th – 8th place rounds where the Americans lost the first match to Sweden, 45-32.

In the match for seventh, Team USA fenced Romania – the No. 1 team in the world. The Americans stayed within three touches during the first eight bouts with 2015 Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.) leading the Americans with 14 touches in three bouts. Kelley Hurley scored 11 in her trio of bouts and Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) picked up three in her two bouts. In the anchor bout, however, three-time individual Senior World medalist Ana Maria Popescu put up 14 touches against Courtney Hurley in three minutes to give Romania the win, 45-31.

With qualification secured the focus for the U.S. women shifts to improving their seed and determining which four fencers will represent Team USA in Rio. Two international tournaments remain for athletes to earn points on the National Team Point Standings – the selection method for choosing the top three athletes who will fence the individual and team events in Rio and the fourth athlete who will serve as a replacement athlete for the team event only. The final qualification event will take place from April 8-11 at the USA Fencing Division I National Championships in Richmond, Va.

On Saturday, five members of Team USA advanced to the table of 64 with each vying for a chance to be one of the four to qualify for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.

Courtney Hurley advanced through the preliminary rounds on Friday to the table of 64 where she upset 2012 Olympic Champion Yana Shemyakina (UKR), 15-11.

In the next round, Hurley defeated 2015 Senior World team medalist Kseniya Pantelyeyeva (UKR), 15-6.

The table of 16 would come down to the final touch between Hurley and two-time individual Senior World medalist Irina Embrich with the Estonian winning the bout, 15-14.

Kelley Hurley, who won bronze with her younger sister in London, was exempt from the pools and preliminary rounds and advanced directly to the table of 64 where she defeated Johanna Bergdahl (SWE), 15-12.

Hurley fenced 2010 Junior World silver medalist Lauren Rembi (FRA) in the table of 32, but finished 22nd after a 15-11 loss.

A former World University Games Team member, Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas), moved up to No. 5 in the National Team Point Standings after advancing to the table of 32 for the first time since 2013.  Bassa went 5-1 in pools to advance directly to the table of 64. Bassa opened the DE rounds with a 15-8 win against two-time Senior World team medalist Simona Pop (ROU), but lost to two-time Olympic Team Champion Tatiana Logunova (RUS), 13-4.

Now fifth in the standings, Bassa currently trails Kelley and Courtney Hurley who hold the top two positions as well as Holmes and Trzopek who are third and fourth.

Five-time Senior World Team member Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) narrowly missed qualifying for Team USA in 2012 and continued her bid for Rio with a top-64 finish to move up to No. 12 in the rankings. Campbell posted a 5-1 pool result to qualify for the second day of competition where she lost to Francesca Boscarelli (ITA), 15-7, in the table of 64.

Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas) earned positions on both the 2014 and 2015 Senior World Teams, but is fighting her way back up the rankings this season. Van Brummen defeated Trzopek, 15-12, in the preliminary rounds to earn a trip to the second day of the tournament. Van Brummen finished 45th, however, after falling to Tatiana Gudkova (RUS), 15-11, in the 64. Despite the loss, van Brummen moved up to 10th in the team standings. 

Click here to view complete results.

Barcelona Women’s Individual Epee World Cup
1. Mara Navarria (ITA)
2. Lauren Rembi (FRA)
3. Ana Maria Popescu (ROU)
3. Lyubov Shutova (RUS)
5. Violetta Kolobova (RUS)
6. Tatiana Logunova (RUS)
7. Alexandra Ndolo (GER)
8. Irina Embrich (EST)

15. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
22. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
25. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
41. Lindsay Campbell (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
44. Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
70. Katharine Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
82. Katarzyna Trzopek (Pacifica, Calif.)
88. Lydia Kopecky (New York City, N.Y.)
122. Natalie Vie (Phoenix, Ariz.)
145. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
157. Lauren Wunderlich (Astoria, N.Y.)
223. Victoria Mo (Irvine, Calif.)

Barcelona Women’s Team Epee World Cup
1. Estonia
2. Russia
3. Korea
4. China
5. Sweden
6. Italy
7. Romania
8. USA 

Tag(s): News  Courtney Hurley  Kelley Hurley  Anna van Brummen  Kat Holmes