The U.S. men's team knew it was moving on to the medal round, so its match against Brazil was simply a bonus warmup against the top-ranked team in the world.
And, hey, the Americans got a confidence-building win, too.
Reid Priddy, a Richmond native, led the U.S. attack in a four-set victory over the Brazilians, 25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22, in a match in which both teams played their reserves extensively.
The Americans finished pool play at 3-2, winning a tiebreaker over Russia for third place, and will face host Greece in the quarterfinals tomorrow.
The Brazilians, who won their first four matches and already had the top spot locked up, advanced to play Poland. In other matchups, Russia will take on defending gold medalist Serbia and Montenegro and Italy will go up against Argentina.
Brazil, if it beats Poland, would play the United States-Greece winner in the semifinals. That's certainly more favorable for the Brazilians than facing any of the other teams, so they probably did themselves a favor by losing -- and propping the Americans up one spot in the standings.
U.S. starters Kevin Barnett, Clay Stanley and captain Lloy Ball weren't in the first-set lineup while outside hitter Riley Salmon, opposite Brook Billings and setter Donald Suxho, got some work in.
Brazil gave its regulars plenty of rest, too, with reserves Giovane Gavio and Rodrigo Santana seeing the most action.
-- From News Services