Russia is one of the biggest, most powerful teams in the world. Already well aware, the United States received another reminder.
Stanislav Dineykin had 20 kills and three blocks to lead the Russians to a four-set victory over the Americans, 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-23.
After opening with a five-set loss to the Netherlands, Russia has won two straight. The United States fell to 1-2.
Russia took its first lead of the fourth set at 14-13, and things went back and forth until Alexey Kuleshov blocked a kill attempt to make it 24-22.
The Americans were only able to fend off match point once. Fittingly, the 7-foot-1 Dineykin ended it with a kill that bounced off Lloy Ball.
"Both teams played very well, but we made less mistakes," Dineykin said.
That's exactly how the Russians succeed.
It's not quite the same, years after the Cold War, but these teams have created one of the sport's classic rivalries. This is already their sixth meeting since the end of June, with Russia winning three of five during a summer exhibition tour in Texas.
Still, the Americans have been playing well in the Games -- erasing the memory of a winless tournament in 2000.