Brazil reminded everyone why it's ranked No. 1 in the world with a dominant three-set win in the semifinals.

There would be no incredible comeback for the United States this time -- just a sound beating by a fast, hard-hitting team.

With Gilberto Godoy Filho, Dante Guimaraes Amaral and Gustavo Endres leading a lightning-quick attack, the Brazilians crushed the Americans' hope for a gold medal with a 25-16, 25-17, 25-23 victory.

"I don't think we reached our full potential today," outside hitter Reid Priddy said, "but we're going to put it behind us and start thinking about Sunday."

Brazil will play second-ranked Italy in the final at Peace and Friendship Stadium, and the United States takes on Russia for the bronze medal.

"We thought that we could come in here and play well and push them," middle blocker Ryan Millar said. "But . . . they played too well."

The crowd was once again in the opponent's favor, with Brazil's yellow-and-green-clad fans outnumbering the Americans in attendance.

Still, the Americans will play for their first medal since 1992, when they won a bronze in Barcelona.

"I'm happy with our team," Coach Doug Beal said. "I think they've fought very hard the whole tournament, and I expect that we'll do that again on Sunday."

-- From News Services

Riley Simon, right, can't stop Ricardo Garcia, Brazil's top-ranked squad.