Brazil was a force and had the crowd on its side, and many felt the path to a gold opened up for the USA when they were eliminated.
It was a sad outcome to a US team that has risen steadily to become the world's best and had the gold medal finally within grasp. Serbia will take on the victor of Netherlands and China in the gold medal match on Saturday night, and the Americans will get the loser in the bronze medal match at noon ET on Saturday.
Boskovic's final kill left the American women with tears streaming down their cheeks as Serbia (5-2) will play in its first Olympic final.
"This was an all-in effort", outside hitter Jordan Larson said. "That's all we got".
Serbia beat the United States of America 20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 16-25, 15-13 in the semifinals Thursday afternoon at the Maracanazinho Stadium. For Serbia, though, it meant more.
"I don't have words", Serbian coach Zoran Terzic said, "because this is a historical moment - for me, for Serbian volleyball, for everyone in Serbia".
The U.S. will play the loser of today's match between the Netherlands and China.
The United States women will not take gold in Rio as they were upset in the semifinals by Serbia. The Americans led 12-10 in the fifth set when Karsta Lowe served into the net, then Milena Rasic answered with an ace.
"That was probably the best match Serbia's ever played", Banwarth said. "So props to them".
Now, the Americans plan to take the example from beach stars Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, who lost in the semifinals to Brazil before bouncing back for bronze.
Akinradewo, perhaps the team's most consistent performer through the Olympics, had six points in the opening set, including three of the team's six blocks before she went down with an injury early in the second set.
United States' Courtney Thompson serves the ball during a women's semifinal volleyball match against Serbia at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. "We look to be problem-solvers on the court". "We adjusted our lineup, we adjusted it again, we adjusted it again".