Fencers did battle and won! Nick Toth Open came to a close today at the Academy

Sept. 15, 2013

The Air Force women fencers did battle and won! The Nick Toth Open drew to a close today, Sunday, Sept. 15, at the Academy with several women's fencers taking top places. In a hard fought Women's Senior Foil competition, Mary McElwee was a two-time champion in the senior and junior foil tournaments. Madeleine Girardot took second in senior foil and Alisa Chernomashentsev tied for third place in seniors. In Senior Women's Saber, Alyssa Hofilena took second and Desirae Ionata tied for third place.

In the Junior Women's tournaments, Alyssa Hofilena took the gold in saber. In the finals for foil, it was McElwee, who won the championship title as Chernomashentsev was the runner up and Girardot tied for third place.

Senior Women's Competition Recap:

In senior women's foil, the Falcons participated in two pools, pool 1: Lauren Brooks, Waverly Hock and Mary McElwee. In pool 2, it was Madeleine Girardot, Alisa Chernomashentsev and Ashley Chung. In the semi bout it was Chernomashentsev against Girardot in pool 2.



Chernomashentsev brought it strong against her opponent with a two-point lead, but Girardot would answer causing a two-point tie in the first period. In the second period Girardot, who would not allow her teammate to score more than two touches began answering touch for touch against Chernomashentsev. With 14 seconds left in the second period, Girardot scored a tie (14-14) and finally as time ran out, scored again for the 15-14 victory.

"I am happy with Alisa's performance today as this is her first tournament to represent the Air Force`s Academy," said head coach Abdel Salem. "She showed good potential and we are happy to have her on the team."

In pool 1, McElwee went up against Albane Ricard (unattached) in the semi round. McElwee held the bout leading with 13-points to win the bout, 15-2.

In the gold medal bout it was McElwee versus Girardot. Girardot scored the first touch at the top of the first period, but McElwee would answer just as quickly. The pair kept the bout very close with no more than one touch apart. The first two periods ended with a 3-3 and 4-4 ties, respectively, as it appeared that the final period would end in a, 7-9, deficit in McElwee's favor. However, with 20 seconds on the clock, McElwee pulled a two-point lead and finally with only two seconds left, both fencers added one more touch each. But it was not enough for Girardot as McElwee scored another as the time ran out and won the bout 12-9. McElwee won the senior women's foil title, Girardot was the runner up and Chernomashentsev tied for third place.

"Women foil finished strong taking first, second and third place," said Salem. "You cannot do better than that. The three young ladies showed toughness, competitiveness, and determination to win."

The final placements in women's foil were McElwee, first, Girardot, second, Chernomashentsev, tied third, Hock, seventh, Brooks, 12th and Chung 13th.

The senior women's saber tournament consisted of one pool that included Allison Egan, Desirae Ionata, Stephanie Sarabia and Alyssa Hofilena. Hofilena advanced to the final bout after receiving a bye and a 15-4 win versus teammate Ionata. In DE's, Hofilena fought a tough battle against Micah Akard from New Mexico, but lost it, 11-15. Hofilena finished the day in second place at her first Nick Toth Open of her Academy career. Egan was knocked out of the DE's after losing to Ionata, 8-15. Egan finished fifth, while Ionata tied for third place after going 15-8, 4-15. Sarabia lost in the first round, 7-15, and finished in seventh place.

Competing in the senior women's epee class, were Jessica Steuber, Rachael Ferguson, Rachel Evans and Olivia Prosseda. The event had four pools going into direct elimination bouts (DE) in which the Air Force fencers competed. Prosseda advanced to the table 16 on a bye and then went 15-12. She advanced to the semi bout to compete against Jasmine Lambert from the Denver Fencing Club. Prosseda trailed Lambert by three points during the bout and lost it, 12-15. Prosseda finished the day in sixth place, Evans finished 16th, Steuber 21st and Ferguson finished tied for 24th place.

Junior Women's Competition Recap:

In the junior's, Hofilena took the gold after going 15-7, 15-11 in saber. Rachael Ferguson finished in seventh place in epee.

Competing in junior women's foil, it was McElwee, Chernomashentsev, Girardot and Hock, who was the seventh-place finisher. In the semi bout, McElwee fenced Ricard (unattached) and quickly knocked out her opponent, 15-10. Girardot and Chernomashentsev did battle in the semi as the match ended 15-12 in Chernomashentev's favor.

And then there were two, in the gold medal bout it was McElwee versus Chernomashentsev. At the start of the bout and with no touches made in the first 20 seconds of the first period, the referee advanced the bout to the second period as a result of non-combative activity. With half of the second gone, the score remained 0-0. Chernomashentsev scored a touch and McElwee quickly answered (1-1). The two scored again and at the end of the second period the bout was tied 2-2. Excitement drew as the pair started to go touch for touch in the third period until finally the bout ended in a 9-9 tie causing the fencers into overtime. In overtime, McElwee finished off her opponent 10-9 with only 22 seconds on the clock.

McElwee was the junior women's foil champion, Chernomashentsev was runner up and Girardot took third place.


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