CANCUN, Mexico (May 2, 2021) – It was a double podium day for the U.S. Beach National Team on Sunday as both Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena and Alix Klineman/April Ross earned bronze medals to end Tournament 3 of the FIVB World Tour’s Cancun Hub.
Dalhausser/Lucena picked up their first medal in two years by sweeping Adrian Ignacio Carambula/Enrico Rossi of Italy, 2-0 (21-19, 21-15). The American duo ended Tournament 3 with a 4-1 record, only falling in the semifinals to eventual gold medalists, Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar.
This is Dalhausser/Lucena’s first FIVB World Tour medal since March 2019 when they took silver in Doha. The pair have combined for 20 total FIVB podium finishes.
An hour later, Klineman/Ross won their second bronze medal of the three-tournament Cancun hub by sweeping Sarah Pavan/Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, 2-0 (21-16, 21-15). It was the second meeting of the top two teams in the world this season – Pavan/Melissa currently top the FIVB’s world rankings, Klineman/Ross are second – with the previous one coming in the Katara Cup gold medal match in March. The Americans won that, too, for their first medal of 2021. Klineman/Ross also took bronze in Tournament 2 of the Cancun hub.
Overall, the U.S. saved its best performance for last in Cancun. All eight American main draw duos reached the knockout stage’s second round: four received a bye to Round 2 after winning their pools, and four prevailed in first-round matchups.
Four of the eight advanced out of Round 2: Klineman/Ross, Dalhausser/Lucena, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil and Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb. Both Claes/Sponcil and Bourne/Tr. Crabb fell in the quarterfinal, Claes/Sponcil to Paredes/Melissa, and Bourne/Tr. Crabb to eventual runners-up, Ilya Leshukov/Konstantin Semenov of Russia.
Of the four pairs to exit in Round 2, two – Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings and Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb – lost to fellow American squads. Klineman/Ross beat Sweat/Walsh Jennings en route to the podium, and Ta. Crabb/Gibb lost a battle of the Crabb brothers as Bourne/Tr. Crabb prevailed in a tight 2-1 (26-28, 21-19, 15-13) contest.
All tournaments in the Cancun hub were designated 4-Star events on the FIVB World Tour and offered Olympic Ranking points. The women’s Olympic Rankings are basically unchanged as only Klineman/Ross replaced a score, and they already have clinched the first U.S. berth in Tokyo.
On the men’s side, however, Dalhausser/Lucena pulled even with Ta. Crabb/Gibb as the top-ranked American squad. Both now have 7,040 points. Bourne/Tr. Crabb did get a 120-point boost but still fell further back due to Dalhausser/Lucena’s podium finish. The younger duo is now 440 points shy of a qualifying spot.
Only two more Olympic qualifier tournaments remain on the World Tour schedule. The U.S. Beach National Team will next take the sand May 26-30 at a four-star FIVB World Tour stopin Sochi, Russia. Olympic qualifying wraps up June 2-6 with the 4-Star J&T Banka Ostrava Beach Open in Ostrava, Czechia.