Sergey Tetyukhin added 21 points in the 27-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-16, 15-8 victory. He spiked for match point for the No. 2 Russians.
Matt Anderson scored 18 points for the fifth-ranked U.S. men, who had won three straight matches in London after going undefeated in Beijing en route to the gold medal.
The U.S. team, led by team captain Clay Stanley of Hawaii, was coming off a four-set victory over top-ranked Brazil, a preliminary round rematch of the Olympic final in Beijing. But they couldn’t counter Russia’s powerful serves and blocks on Saturday.
The U.S. men weren’t considered among the favorites to medal in London, but claimed the silver medal in the recent World League tournament before opening the Olympics with dominant straight-set victories over Serbia and Germany. Then came the upset with Brazil.
The U.S. landed in a difficult pool in London with Brazil, Russia, Serbia, Germany and Tunisia. The other six-team pool includes Italy, Poland, Argentina, Bulgaria, Australia and host Britain.
Teams are awarded points for each set won in London. The top four teams from each group in the preliminary round advance to the quarterfinals.
Russia lost in straight sets to Brazil earlier in the round, but beat Germany and Tunisia. They’ll finish the preliminary round with a match against Serbia.
Russia found success on the block to go up 15-11 in the first set. Mikhaylov’s spike made it 16-11 but the United States rallied back to go ahead 21-20 on David Lee’s monster kill before Matt Anderson’s ace won it.
The United States took an 8-5 lead in the next set and setter Donald Suxho pumped his fist several times. Alexander Volkov’s block made it 12-all, but Russia couldn’t pull ahead and Reid Priddy’s block sealed the set.
Sergey Grankin’s block gave Russia a 16-15 advantage in the third set, but the United States took back the lead until Mikhaylov’s spike put the Russians in front 25-24. Tetyukhin’s ace won it. RESULT Italy beat Britain 3-0 in an Olympic men's volleyball Group A match on Thursday. Results Table Italy 3 Britain 0 Poland 3 Argentina 0 Bulgaria 3 Australia 0 STANDINGS P W L F A Pts 1. Bulgaria 3 3 0 9 1 9 2. Poland 3 2 1 7 4 6 3. Italy 3 2 1 7 4 6 4. Argentina 3 1 2 4 6 3 5. Australia 3 1 2 3 6 3 6. Britain 3 0 3 0 9 0 SATURDAY, AUGUST 4 FIXTURES (GMT) Britain v Poland (1030) Australia v Italy (1345) Argentina v Bulgaria (1900)