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Around the Piste: U.S. will play in bronze match against Italy

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Placement 5-6 and 7-8


Poland led through seven periods until South Korea's Jisu Yoon outscored Bogna Jozwiak 12-2 in the eighth to take a three point lead South Korea never relinquished. They won 45-41 and finish fifth in the competition.


In the Placement 7-8 match, France led for the majority but Mexico pulled away in the final three periods to take a 45-38 victory.


Semifinals


United States-Russia


Zagunis took the piste in the second period with the U.S. going down 3-9 before she rallied back into the bout to get within three points of Russia.


Ibtihaj Muhammad and Wozniak combined to score five points over the next two bouts as Russia pulled ahead 20-12.


In the sixth, Zagunis fenced one of her best bouts in Rio going on a 6-0 run to pull back within two points of Russia but Velikaya scored the final three touches to help Russia stay up five points.



Muhammad returned for her final bout against Ekaterina Dyachenko and scored seven consecutive points to tie the match at 34; she scored the bout-winning touch to give the U.S. its first lead, 35-34.


Wozniak, who had performed well throughout the day, struggled in her final bout as Velikaya blanked her 6-0 to give the Russians a 40-35 lead.


Down 44-39, Zagunis rallied against Egorian to score three consecutive points and get within two. It would be for naught as Egorian scored Russia's 45th point to win the match. The U.S. will play Italy in the bronze match.


Ukraine-Italy


Italy maintained a close lead through five periods before Kharlan outscored Irene Vecchi 11-3 to take a two point lead. The Italians retook the lead at the end of the seventh but Kharlan and Alina Komashchuk combined to 11-7 to win 45-42 and advance to the gold medal match against Russia.


Classification 5-8


South Korea-France


South Korea led after all but two periods as they defeated France 45-40 to move on to the Placement 5-6 match.


Poland-Mexico


Mexico had a one point lead in the second period but Poland quickly went ahead and outscored them 36-13 in the subsequent bouts to win 45-23.



Quarterfinals


United States-Poland


Dagmara Wozniak faced Aleksandra Socha in her opening bout, outscoring her 5-1 to set the tone early for the U.S.


The United States led by five but quickly found themselves in danger of losing in the closing period.


Socha was back on the piste against Mariel Zagunis and scored three consecutive points to open the period.


Socha eventually tied the bout at 41 as Zagunis struggled to create any offense.


Zagunis regained a two point advantage only to see Socha tie on a questionable call. It had appeared Zagunis had the right of way on the simultaneous touch as Socha had stopped short but the point was awarded to the Polish fencer.


Zagunis closed out the bout with two consecutive touches to earn a trip to the semifinals against Russia.


Mexico-Russia


Russia dominated their match against the eighth seeded Mexico, outscoring them 40-19 through the eighth period. Julieta Toledo did earn an impressive 12 point win over Sofya Velikaya in the ninth but it wasn't enough as Russia handily won 45-31.


Italy-France


Italy led for the majority of the match but had a scare in the sixth as France's Charlotte Lembach outscored Rossella Gregorio 8-5 to put France within two points of tying. Italy went on to win the last three bouts, taking a 45-36 victory.


Ukraine-South Korea


The countries traded leads consistently throughout the close match. The Ukraine held a two point advantage into the ninth where number two ranked fencer Olga Kharlan closed out the bout for them with a 5-2 victory to advance to the semifinals.



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