Lee Kiefer battled her way to a bronze medal—her first podium finish of the young world cup fencing season—in women’s foil in Saint-Maur, France, on Saturday.
Fifth in the world, the two-time Olympian is the top-ranked American woman, and after advancing through to the semifinals she met world No. 2 Alice Volpi of Italy, the 2018 world champion . Volpi went out to a 9-7 lead but Kiefer scored six unanswered points to take a 13-9 advantage. Facing the loss, however, Volpi went back on the offensive and would score the final six points of the bout to win, 15-13.
Volpi would go on to win gold, while fellow Italian Martina Batini took silver. Inna Deriglazova of Russia, an Olympic gold medalist and current world No. 1, joined Kiefer at the bronze-medal position.
Kiefer topped Italy’s Arianna Errigo, the 2012 Olympic individual silver medalist and team gold medalist, in the quarterfinals, 15-11, to ensure a medal. This is her 12th career world cup medal and her seventh bronze.
Kiefer, a four-time NCAA champion with Notre Dame, became the first fencer ever to win the Pan American Games three times with her success in Lima, Peru, this summer.
She’ll be back on the piste on Sunday along with teammates Nicole Ross, a 2012 Olympian, Iman Blow and Jackie Dubrovich. They are the No. 4 seed in the team tournament.