Brankica Mihajlovic

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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

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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.