ATHENS -- A wild comeback lifted the United States from the brink of defeat against an inspired Greek team yesterday, putting the Americans in the Olympic volleyball semifinals for the first time in 12 years.
Kevin Barnett scored 20 points and Reid Priddy added 16 to lead the United States back from 2 sets to 1 down, a huge deficit in the fourth set and a match point in the fifth.
The victory -- 25-20, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 17-15 -- guarantees the Americans a spot in one of the medal games for the first time since they earned a bronze in 1992.
They'll play tomorrow against Brazil, which swept Poland. The Russians and Italians will meet in the other semifinal.
All appeared lost for the US team when it went down 2 sets to 1 and fell behind, 8-1, to begin the fourth set. When the score reached 20-12 in favor of the Greeks, the Americans wore the blank expressions of players just 5 points from elimination. But Ryan Millar's kill fueled an amazing rally that Barnett capped with a spike on set point.
Millar's kill made it 16-15 in the final set, and when Sotirios Pantaleon's spike try missed, the Americans celebrated and the Greeks looked on in agony.