Following a disappointing three-set sweep at the hands of Canada in the Rio opener Sunday, Team USA men’s volleyball needed a strong showing against Italy Tuesday afternoon.
They got it, but Italy was just a little bit better, taking three of four sets in a closely-contested match.
The same issues plagued U.S. to start the match, as service and unforced errors handed Italy too many points early on.
The two teams battled to 26-all in the first set before USA’s Max Holt went long on a serve and then a back-row violation on Aaron Russell handed Italy the victory.
USA finally won its first set, a 25-20 showing over Italy.
But that was about all the celebrating a young U.S. team had on the afternoon as Italy held on for a victory in the third set as a challenge that went in their favor clinched it.
Italy also took home the fourth set by a 25-23 score to send USA home without a point in two matches.