Notre Dame's Hurley Sisters lead U.S. to first ever bronze in Olympic Team Epee

Notre Dame senior fencer Courtney Hurley and her sister, former Irish standout and two-time All-American Kelley Hurley, helped lead the United States to a bronze medal Saturday in the Women’s Team Epee at the 2012 Olympic Games.

An alternate throughout the games for Team USA, Kelley Hurley replaced Susie Scanlan for the bronze medal match against Russia. With the U.S. trailing 15-11 entering the fifth bout, Hurley topped Anna Sivkova 4-1 to bring the American squad within one touch (16-15).

After the U.S. battled in front 27-25 entering the ninth and final bout of the match, Courtney Hurley was pushed to the limit by Sivkova. The Russian epeeist claimed a 5-3 lead at the end of regulation that squared the match at 30-30 and sent the contest to sudden-death overtime. Just 16 seconds into the extra period, Hurley struck the winning touch to clinch a thrilling 31-30 triumph for Team USA.

The victory earned the Hurley sisters their first career Olympic medals, and the 27th overall Olympic podium finish (15th bronze) in U.S. Fencing history.

Courtney Hurley got off to a fast start in a quarterfinal showdown with Italy, winning two of her three bouts (8-3 and 5-2, respectively) in a 45-35 U.S. victory. Hurley outscored her opponents 17-12 during the match.

South Korea battled back from an early 7-6 deficit to outpoint Team USA 45-36 to earn a spot in the gold medal match. Hurley was a combined 1-2 against South Korea, defeating Injeong Choi 8-5 in the fifth bout of the match.

China captured its third-ever fencing gold medal with a 39-25 win over South Korea in the tournament’s final match.

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