Tallinn bronze medalists Kasia Nixon, Kelley Hurley and Kat Holmes. Photo Credit: Pavia / Bizzi
(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The top-ranked women’s épée team in the world, Team USA reached the podium again in Tallinn, Estonia to open the 2018-19 World Cup season with a bronze medal finish on Sunday.
The win marked the third straight podium at a World Cup for the Americans who took gold at the Senior World Championships this in July as well as earned the Pan American Championship title in June.
The squad featured three of the four members of the team that won Senior Worlds in Olympians Kelley and Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas) and Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.) A 2017 Junior World silver medalist, Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.) earned her first medal as a member of a Senior World Cup team.
After a bye into the table of 16, Team USA won or tied all nine bouts against Spain for a 45-28 victory to advance to the quarter-finals against Estonia – the 2017 Senior World Champions.
Although Team USA defeated Estonia in an overtime win at the World Championships, this time the Americans controlled the match early, winning or tying eight of the nine bouts to end with a 45-37 victory.
In the semifinals, France led the United States at 17-11 after the seventh, but Kelley Hurley posted a key win in the eighth at 8-4 against Laurence Epee to cut France’s lead to 21-19. Holmes was unable to make up the difference in the anchor leg against Auriane Mallo and France took the match, 29-25.
The bronze medal final would be a rematch of the Senior World Championship gold medal match with Team USA taking on Korea again.
The match would come down to overtime again with Holmes closing a two-touch gap in her anchor bout against Hyojung Jung, a gold medalist from the individual event, to tie the score at 20 and force a one-minute sudden-death period. Holmes scored the first single to secure the bronze for Team USA with a 21-20 victory.
In the individual event on Saturday, Nixon earned Team USA’s best finish, placing 27th.
Nixon, who went 5-1 in the pool rounds on Friday, qualified for the table of 64 with wins over Paula Jukic (CRO), 15-10, and Bianca Benea (ROU), 15-5, in the preliminary tables.
On Saturday, Nixon defeated Renata Knapik-Miazga (POL), 15-6, in the table of 64, but she missed the 16 after a 15-13 loss to Young Mi Kang (KOR) in the 32.
Courtney and Kelley Hurley each earned byes into the table of 64 on Saturday due to their top-16 world rankings.
The reigning individual Senior World bronze medalist, Courtney Hurley entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed, but dropped her opener to Greta Veres (ROU), 15-13.
Kelley Hurley also lost her table of 64 bout by a 15-13 margin, falling to 2017 Barcelona World Cup medalist Melissa Goram (FRA).
A two-time Senior World Team member, Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas), ended the pool rounds with a 5-1 finish before besting Karolina Rochem (POL), 15-11, and 2014 Senior World individual medalist Erika Kirpu (EST), 15-13, to advance to the second day of competition.
Van Brummen fenced Marta Ferrari (ITA) in the 64, but fell short with a 15-11 loss.
Top eight and U.S. results are as follows:
Tallinn Women’s Team Épée World Cup
Tallinn Women’s Individual Épée World Cup
1. Hyojung Jung (KOR)
2. Man Wai Vivian Kong (HKG)
3. Alberta Santuccio (ITA)
3. Yiwen Sun (CHN)
5. Young Mi Kang (KOR)
6. Laurence Épée (FRA)
7. Guangjuan Hou (CHN)
8. Melissa Goram (FRA)
27. Kasia Nixon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
35. Courtney Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
37. Kelley Hurley (San Antonio, Texas)
51. Anna van Brummen (Houston, Texas)
80. Amanda Sirico (Bowie, Md.)
85. Victoria Mo (Irvine, Calif.)
119. Kat Holmes (Washington, D.C.)
121T. Lydia Kopecky (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
124. Cassandra Bates (Concord, Mass.)
130T. Gigi Vierheller (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
158. Isis Washington (Parsippany, N.J.)
160. Francesca Bassa (Houston, Texas)
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