By Karen Price | Jan. 13, 2019, 12:27 p.m. (ET)
(L-R) Lee Kiefer, Nicole Ross, Jackie Dubrovich and Iman Blow celebrate their silver medal in women's team foil fencing at the world cup on Jan. 13, 2019 in Katowice, Poland.

 

The third-ranked U.S. women’s foil team earned its first medal of the world cup season with a silver in Katowice, Poland, on Sunday.

Two-time Olympian Lee Kiefer, 2012 Olympian Nicole Ross, Iman Blow and Jackie Dubrovich advanced to the championship match against France, where they lost 45-26, but improved greatly on their seventh-place finish at the world cup season opener in Algiers, Algeria, in November.

Kiefer, who won an individual bronze medal on Saturday, delivered the U.S. to the final with a fight that saved their semifinal match against No. 2 Russia. Trailing 40-37 going into the anchor bout, Kiefer came up big with eight touches to Larisa Korobeynikova’s three to grab five points and give the U.S. a 45-43 win.

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The U.S. easily defeated Great Britain, 45-21, in the round of 16 and South Korea, 45-24, in the quarterfinals en route to the semis. 

France proved a tough opponent in the final, however, taking the lead in the second bout and making it difficult for the U.S. to make up any ground. Kiefer opened with a 6-5 win but that would be the last bout the U.S. would win until her anchor. Two-thirds of the way through the match France held a 30-14 lead.

Italy earned the bronze with a 45-38 win over Russia.

Kiefer and Ross were members of the team that won the first American world foil title in program history in 2018.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.