COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. had two beach teams earn medals on the FIVB World Tour in Russia. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena won the men’s bracket for the United States’ first gold of the 2017 season. Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross finished with silver.
The gold medal for Dalhausser and Lucena marks the duos sixth as a team, and their second podium finish on the year. The Florida natives previously earned bronze at their only other World Tour stop so far, in Fort Lauderdale. The top women’s finishers, Sweat/S. Ross, finished in second after tearing through the elimination bracket with three victories over Germany.
USA had five teams finish in the Top 10, and an additional three in the Top 25. Perhaps the most exciting run at the tournament was Sweat/S. Ross, who finished 1-1 in pool play then used four consecutive wins to put them in their first gold medal match as a team, and in Sweat’s career. Along the way, they topped the Olympic champions, Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, 21-19, 21-13 in round two. They followed with consecutive three-set wins against two other German pairs before falling to Brazil’s Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, 21-16, 21-14 in the final.
— Beach Volleyball (@FIVBBeach) June 2, 2017
Dalhausser and Lucena won their gold medal on a perfect 6-0 showing through the week. After sweeping three of their matches, Dalhausser/Lucena dropped their first set of the tournament during the quarterfinals, when they beat Poland’s Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek, 21-19, 18-21, 15-8. In the semifinal, the Americans made quick work of locals Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin, winning in 31 minutes by score of 21-14, 21-17. They once again faced a Russian team, this time for gold and in three sets. They won the medal, Dalhausser’s 35th FIVB gold, by defeating Nikita Liamin/Viacheslav Krasilnikov, 21-17, 22-24, 18-16.
USA also had two women’s teams and one men’s team tie for ninth: April Ross/Lauren Fendrick, Brittany Hochevar/Emily Day, and Casey Patterson/Theo Brunner. It marked the long awaited return for A. Ross, with her new partner on the FIVB World Tour, fellow 2016 Olympian, Fendrick. All three were eliminated in the second round by opponents that went to the Olympics.
Tying for 17th were Kelly Claes/Sara Hughes, who were eliminated by Sweat/S. Ross in the first round, 21-16, 21-15. Stafford Slick and Billy Allen also tied for 17th, for the second time this year, losing to Germany in round one. Olympian Jake Gibb and partner Taylor Crabb tied for 25th after going 0-2 in pool play with losses to Latvia and Germany.
The U.S. will take a one week break from the World Tour before resuming the weekend of June 17-18, with tournaments in The Netherlands (3 Star), China (2 Star), and Monaco (1 Star).
WEEK IN REVIEW
– First: Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena won their sixth career FIVB gold together and second medal of the 2017 season
– Second: Brooke Sweat/Summer Ross won their first medal together as a partnership, the best FIVB finish for Ross since 2013 and best career FIVB finish for Sweat
– Tied for 9th: April Ross/Lauren Fendrick, their second FIVB tournament ever together; Brittany Hochevar/Emily Day, their third Top 10 finish in 2017; Casey Patterson/Theo Brunner, their third Top 10 finish as a team
– Tied for 17th: Stafford Slick/Billy Allen, tied their team best finish
– Lost in country quota: Lane Carico/Caitlin Ledoux; Sean Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb
|FIVB Moscow 3-Star Roster|
|April Ross||Lauren Fendrick||Main Draw|
|Brooke Sweat||Summer Ross||Main Draw|
|Kelly Claes||Sara Hughes||Main Draw|
|Emily Day||Brittany Hochevar||Qualification/Country Quota|
|Lane Carico||Caitlin Ledoux||Country Quota/Reserve|
|Phil Dalhausser||Nick Lucena||Main Draw|
|Casey Patterson||Theo Brunner||Main Draw|
|Jake Gibb||Taylor Crabb||Main Draw|
|Stafford Slick||Billy Allen||Qualification/Country Quota|
|Sean Rosenthal||Trevor Crabb||Country Quota|
|Nelson Santos||Sports Medicine, DC|
|Steve Paulseth||Sports Medicine, DPT, ATC|
Beach Volleyball stars were introduced to Snow Volleyball ❄️ at #Moscow3Star
Would you like to see Snow Volleyball at the Winter Olympics? pic.twitter.com/eaY0Q1L2jE
— Beach Volleyball (@FIVBBeach) June 1, 2017