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Down a star, USA women’s volleyball loses thriller to drop into bronze match

Rio Olympics Volleyball Women

Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic (9) spikes the ball as United States’ Jordan Larson (10), Foluke Akinradewo (16) and Alisha Glass defend during a women’s semifinal volleyball match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AP

An almost unbelievable match in Rio saw the USA women’s volleyball team fall 3-2 after a valiant comeback fell just short at the Olympics on Thursday.

The Americans will now face China or the Netherlands for bronze on Saturday after losing 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 16-25, 13-15.

The United States took the first set 25-20, but quickly found itself wobbling after an injury to star Foluke Akinradewo.

WATCH: Full match replay

Serbia dominated the second set 25-17 and blazed out to a 8-1 start in the third set. The Americans wouldn’t go away, and forced leading Serbia into a timeout at 22-20. That settled them down, and it finished 25-21.

At that point, it seemed Serbia’s Brankica Mihajlovic and Tijana Boskovic would be living in USA volleyball’s nightmares for a long, long time. The spikers were dominant in two sets that gave Serbia a 2-1 lead en route.

Karch Kiraly’s Yanks were not bowed, though, coming back to decisively win the fourth set 25-16. But Serbia rallied to win despite some final set heroics from Karsta Lowe.

Follow @NicholasMendola