CANCUN, Mexico (Monday, April 19, 2021) – Two U.S. women’s beach teams and three men’s teams finished in ties for ninth place in the first of three tournaments at the FIVB’s Cancun hub on Sunday.
Five American duos reached round two of the tournament held at the Grand Oasis Cancun resort, but none advanced to round three. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena picked up the United States’ only set victory of the night when they forced the world No. 1 pair, Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway, to a third set. That third set was tight, but the Norwegians pulled away late for the 2-1 (21-15, 15-21, 15-12) win.
That was the second match of the day against a top-three opponent for Dalhausser/Lucena. Earlier, they beat world No. 3 Alison/Alvaro Filho in three sets, knocking the Brazilians out of the tournament. During pool play on Saturday, Chaim Schalk/Theo Brunner handed Alison/Alvaro Filho their first loss.
Dalhausser/Lucena, Bourne/Tr. Crabb, and Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb all reached round two on the men’s side, while Alix Klineman/April Ross and Kelley Kolinske/Emily Stockman did so for the women. Schalk/Brunner’s run from the country quota ended in round one of the knockout stage, as did that of Brooke Sweat/Kerri Walsh Jennings.
Four teams – Kolinske/Stockman, Ta. Crabb/Gibb, Bourne/Tr. Crabb and Dalhausser/Lucena – earned Olympic Ranking points after reaching round two. Kolinske/Stockman picked up 40 points, slightly narrowing the gap between them and the third-place American squad, Kelly Claes/Sarah Sponcil.
Ta. Crabb/Gibb also added 40 points, Bourne/Crabb 80, and Dalhausser/Lucena 160. The result extended Dalhausser/Lucena’s lead for the second American Olympic qualification spot to 120 points, although a potential Olympic berth also depends on their overall finish in the worldwide Olympic Rankings. They also gained ground on Ta. Crabb/Gibb, the top-ranked American duo.
The U.S. Beach National Team will look to bounce back in the second tournament of the hub. Country quota matches will take place Wednesday, April 21, and qualification for the main draw a day later.