The United States claimed the silver medal in women’s team foil Sunday as the 2016-17 world cup season began in Cancun, Mexico.
It was the second podium finish for the U.S. in as many days after Saturday’s bronze-medal performance by Nicole Ross, her career-first world cup medal. In the team event, Ross was joined by two-time Olympian and world No. 4 Lee Kiefer, Margaret Lu and Sabrina Massialas, a gold medalist at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
The quartet defended the U.S. ranking of No. 3 in the world, eliminating No. 10 Poland in the quarterfinals by a score of 45-39 and advancing to the gold-medal match by defeating No. 4-ranked France in the semifinal round by a 45-37 margin.
The final matched the Americans against Italy, a formidable foe ranked No. 2 in the world in the team standings and featuring three medalists from Saturday’s individual competition, including world No. 1 Arianna Errigo. The U.S. pushed the Italians farther than any other team Sunday before finally falling, 45-36.
It was the team’s highest finish at a world cup since January 2015, when the U.S. won silver in Gdansk, Poland. Last season, Team USA earned two bronzes.
Cancun marked the first step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Four other world cup events are scheduled this season in St.-Maur, France; Algiers, Algeria; Gdansk; and Tauberbischofsheim, Germany.