London • For two sets, the U.S. men’s volleyball team was cruising to its fourth straight victory at the London Olympics.
But then it all came undone.
The Americans, featuring former Brigham Young standouts Russell Holmes and Rich Lambourne, lost the last three sets in a row and fell to Russia, 29-27, 25-19, 24-26, 16-25 and 8-15 on Saturday night.
The loss snapped an 11-match winning streak at the Olympics, and dropped the U.S. even with Russia at 3-1 in their preliminary group.
But the Americans still lead based on points awarded for winning matches more quickly. That means they’re still almost assured of winning the group and getting the most favorable draw in the quarterfinals, because their last preliminary match is against winless Tunisia on Monday.
The Tunisians have won only one of 13 sets in the competition.
In the quarterfinals, the Americans are likely to meet either Australia or Argentina from the other group.
— Michael C. Lewis