UC Irvine outside attacker Kyle Russell and former Lewis outside attacker Greg Petty provided all the offense the United States needed to complete its comeback.
Both Russell and Petty had more than 20 kills as the United States rallied from a one-game deficit to beat China 23-25, 25-15, 28-26, 26-24 on Friday in South Korea at the World University Games.
Petty led all players with 24 kills, while Russell added 21 kills in the consolation bracket semifinals. In addition, former Princeton opposite Cody Kessel finished with five kills — the only other U.S. player to have more than two kills.
The United States out-blocked China 11 to 6, including Russell and Stanford middle attacker Kevin Rakestraw each having a team-high three blocks.
China outside attacker Hailun Cao in the loss had a team-high 14 kills.
With this victory, the United States advances to play Australia on Saturday in the 17th-place match at the international tournament. The United States in the group-play stage defeated Australia in five games.