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.
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.