The U.S. men’s volleyball team was three points away from heading to the gold medal match.
But then Ivan Zaytsev happened.
With a 22-19 lead in the fourth set and already up two sets to one, the U.S. had trouble receiving Zaytsev’s serves and just like that, Italy had rattled off six points in a row and clawed back for a victory in the fourth set.
In the fifth set, Italy continued to steamroll off the momentum Zaytsev had built, soaring to a 15-9 victory to move on to the gold medal match and deliver another heartbreak to USA volleyball.
Italy committed five service faults in the fifth set, handing USA five of its first eight points, but the Americans couldn’t take advantage.
The U.S. will now play for bronze Sunday morning against the loser of Friday night’s Brazil-Russia match.