USA men’s volleyball decided to flip the script.
After blowing a late lead and suffering a heart-wrenching defeat in the semifinals to Italy, the Americans decided they had a comeback of their own left.
Down two sets to none, the U.S. rallied to beat Russia in five sets (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13) and claim the bronze medal in Rio.
The Americans were just three points away from the gold medal match in the fourth set of the semifinal Friday, but Italy rattled off six straight poitns and then took the fifth set to send the U.S. to a devastating loss.
Russia, meanwhile, lost in three sets to host Brazil in the semifinal.
To add insult to injury, the U.S. team not only had to psychologically move past the heartache of missing out on gold, but then had a traveling snafu Sunday morning where their bus didn’t have the right credentials and they were forced to walk several blocks to the Maracanãzinho arena in the pouring rain in advance of the bronze medal match.
Veteran Reid Priddy – playing in his fourth Games – provided a big spark for the Americans, starting out 15-of-20 hitting and finished with 18 points in his last Olympic match.
The 38-year-old Priddy had hardly played in the tournament prior to Sunday.