The Hurley sisters helped the United States claim the bronze medal in women’s team epee with a thrilling 31-30 overtime victory against Russia (the second-ranked team in the world) on Saturday at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London. Courtney Hurley was the hero for the Americans, scoring the winning touch 16 seconds into overtime against Russia’s Anna Sivkova, as the United States earned its first medal of any kind (team or individual) in women’s epee, and the first U.S. team epee medal by either gender since the American men earned the bronze at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics (the women’s team epee event debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games).
Saturday’s bronze medal came the hard way for the United States, which defeated the world’s fourth-ranked team, Italy in the quarterfinals, 45-35, and then had to bounce back following a tough 45-36 loss to South Korea in the semifinals. Courtney Hurley, a three-time All-American and the 2011 NCAA individual champion during her Notre Dame career to date, competed in all three U.S. team matches on Saturday, posting a combined 4-4-1 record (45-39 aggregate scoring total), including a stunning 8-3 win against Italy’s Bianca Del Carretto that turned the quarterfinal squarely in the Americans’ favor.
Meanwhile, Kelley Hurley was named a replacement fencer for the bronze-medal match against Russia, despite not having competed during the entire Olympics to that point. Nevertheless, the three-time Notre Dame All-American and 2008 NCAA individual champion held her own with a medal at stake, going 1-2 (9-10 aggregate scoring total), including a critical 4-1 victory against Sivkova in the fifth of the nine-bout match. Courtney Hurley followed that win with a 4-2 victory against Lyubov Shutova, and the Hurleys’ combined 8-3 run against the two bouts highlighted the United States rally after the Americans trailed 15-11 through the first four bouts.
The other members of the bronze medal team included Princeton’s Susie Scanlan and Maya Lawrence.