Thursday, 23 May 2024

Dalhausser and Lucena Win Gold in Maceio, Brazil

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena showcase their exceptional skills once again, emerging triumphant with a gold-medal finish in Maceio, Brazil. This victory marks another milestone in their impressive career as they continue their quest for Olympic qualification.

A Streak of Success

Dalhausser and Lucena’s partnership has been nothing short of remarkable. They secured victory at the NORCECA Continental Tour Finals in November 2015, and since then, they have garnered six medals to solidify their path to the Games. This latest gold medal adds to their collection of four golds achieved together.

A Thrilling Matchup

The clash between the United States and Brazil in the men’s gold medal match on the FIVB World Tour was highly anticipated. The match did not disappoint, going down to the wire with three sets and intense moments. Ultimately, Dalhausser and Lucena emerged victorious, standing tall amidst a sea of Brazilian teams that had triumphed over other countries in the quarterfinals.

The Road to Victory

Before facing the Brazilian duo of Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg in the final, Dalhausser and Lucena triumphed over Alvaro Filho and Vitor Felipe in a thrilling semifinal match. Evandro and Pedro, already named as one of Brazil’s men’s teams for the Olympics, were formidable opponents. However, Dalhausser and Lucena displayed their prowess and clinched a hard-fought victory with a score of 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-10).

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A Close Rivalry

The rivalry between the USA and Brazil in men’s gold medal matches on the FIVB World Tour is well-known. With this win, the series stands at 32-31 in favor of Brazil. Dalhausser and Lucena have faced Brazil in gold medal matches at the 2015 World Tour Finals and the Long Beach Grand Slam, both resulting in losses. However, their victory in Maceio signifies a turning point, fueling their momentum and bolstering their determination.

Olympic Hopes and Rankings

The Maceio Open was a significant event for Dalhausser and Lucena in terms of Olympic qualification. Their outstanding performance earned them 500 points for provisional rankings, propelling them into the Top 17 with a total of 4,100 points. With three teams now in contention, the United States is poised to make a mark in the rankings.

American Representation

In addition to Dalhausser and Lucena, three men’s teams and three women’s teams from the United States participated in the Maceio Open. Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day achieved the top finish among American women, securing 17th place. Sean Rosenthal and Theo Brunner tied for 17th after being eliminated in the first round, while John Hyden and Tri Bourne had to withdraw due to an injury but still managed to place 17th. Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, the women’s leaders in rankings prior to the event, faced difficulties and ended in 25th place, along with Lane Carico and Summer Ross.

Looking Ahead

With the Maceio Open behind them, Dalhausser and Lucena are gearing up for upcoming events on the FIVB World Tour. They will be competing in the Rio Grand Slam, Vitoria Open, Doha Open, Xiamen Open, and Fortaleza Open. As they continue their journey, they are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with.

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