By Gary R. Blockus | Feb. 04, 2018, 11:37 a.m. (ET)
The U.S. women's foil fencing team celebrates after winning bronze at the FIE World Cup on Feb. 4, 2018 in Algiers, Algeria.

 

Olympians Nicole Ross and Nzingha Prescod led the U.S. women’s foil team to an upset of top-ranked Italy to take the bronze medal at a world cup Sunday in Algiers, Algeria.

Team USA knocked off Italy 45-34 in the bronze-medal match after a narrow 45-44 loss to second-ranked Russia earlier in the day.

The third-ranked Americans earned their second podium of the 2017-18 season, and their first since kicking off the season with a bronze medal in Cancun, Mexico. Two holdovers from that team also competed in Algiers: 2012 Olympian Ross and three-time NCAA All-American Jacqueline Dubrovich.

The American team also included Prescod, a two-time U.S. Olympian, and 20-year-old Iman Blow, a three-time junior world silver medalist in team foil and an individual bronze medalist at junior worlds last year.

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Prescod and Ross were members of the U.S. team that won a silver medal at the 2017 world championships, marking the country’s best finish at worlds.

In Algeria, Ross got Team USA off to a fast start in the bronze-medal match, putting the Americans up 5-3 after beating Italy’s Alice Volpi, who is ranked second in the world. The Americans led 15-13 when Ross came up again to best Francesca Palumbo to extend the lead to 20-16. 

Prescod won five of eight touches against Palumbo to open up a 30-23 advantage. Blow then won five straight touches, and Prescod closed it out with five straight against Volpi. It was a measure of redemption for Prescod after she dropped nine of 13 touches against Svetlana Tripapina as the final fencer in the semifinal loss to Russia.

Team USA opened the day with a 45-18 win over Sweden and a 45-20 quarterfinal win over Canada. Italy dropped a 45-38 decision to France in their semifinal. 

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.