FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Ft. Lauderdale Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals | 29 September - 4 October 2015

#SwatchWTFinalsUSA


Press release

36 hours or 36 days?


American globe-trotters Nick Lucena (left) and Phil Dalhausser prepare for Fort Lauderdale Monday after winning a FIVB World Tour gold medal Saturday in Xiamen, China.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., September 29, 2015 - By their estimation, it took 36 hours for Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser to travel from China to reach South Florida just in time for the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals.

It might as well have been 36 days by their body clocks. But when they stepped off the plane upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale, it was like stepping back in time.

This is the beach where they grew up crafting their sport, playing in local Beach Volleyball tournaments. They had no illusions on the sport being in their future other than having something fun to look forward to after they graduated from college.

Lucena, on the cusp of graduating from Florida State, and Dalhausser, who was finishing his studies at Central Florida, had found they clicked as a team and they caught the eye of American player Adam Roberts.

“He came up to Phil and I and asked us if we wanted to come up and train at his house in Myrtle Beach, S.C.,” Lucena said. “I had to convince Phil to do it because he had a job interview, and he had to skip the interview. He had just graduated, too.

“We planned to go for two weeks and we stayed for almost two years. Once we realized maybe we could make some money doing this, we decided to go out to California.

“Best time of my life, for sure.”

It’s not too bad now, either. After a dozen years of playing with other partners, Dalhausser and Lucena are back together and it’s not out of the question that they could be major players in deciding the gold medal winners at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

That is if they don’t run out of time in reaching the Olympiad. It’s only been a month since they reunited, but they’re already making some noise. The captured the Xiamen Open, which helps as they inch their way up the FIVB World Tour points table.

That came after a second-place in Sochi, Russia and a third-place finish in Olsztyn, Poland.

“It’s good. It’s a progression, it’s been getting better and better,” Dalhausser said. “The first two tournaments were like a honeymoon, we were just excited. But now we’re grinding it out.”

Because they’re so far down the points table in Olympic qualifying points, their season won’t end in Florida. They’ll travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, plus Turkey and Qatar to close out the year.

Then they’ll have time to assess their progress for real, have an offseason they haven’t been afforded for a couple of years and step back onto the sand after the New Year.

“All I’m really thinking about is when the season’s over, I really am,” Lucena said. “The last two years I played all the way through December with Theo (Brunner) and we played South Africa and started training right away because we had to get Theo up to speed. I’ve kind of had no offseason the last couple years, so I’m looking forward to doing nothing for a couple of weeks.”

Dalhausser has played in the past two Olympiads, winning gold in Beijing with Todd Rogers in 2008. Lucena, playing with Matt Fuerbringer, lost out in qualifying in the final event before the 2012 London Games.

So the veterans of the chase know as well as anyone what awaits them in the coming months.

“If we keep playing the way we are, just kind of grinding it out – we’re not smashing teams by any means – we’ll have a good match here and there and that’s nice, because it shows the level we can play but it’s keeping the level up there,” Dalhausser said.

Dalhausser’s last two partners, Rogers and Sean Rosenthal, have been low-key types. With the 36-year-old Lucena, he’s reminded of the fire and passion that brought them success as they learned the sport.

“I do need that,” said Dalhausser, 35. “Now volleyball is more of a job to me so some days I say ‘I just don’t feel like sweating today.’ It’s good to have someone who will push you.”

And does the soft-spoken Dalhausser ever push back?

“I’ll neck-chop him,” he said, laughing. “I can bring a calming influence to him a little bit, I try to anyway, and he brings me up a little bit. It’s a good energy right now.

Download highresolution

| More

More press releases

   
07.10.2015 10:23:05
World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale: Saving the best for last

Lausanne, Switzerland, October 6, 2015 – As the curtain came down on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals on Sunday, it was clear that the final tourname... More...

06.10.2015 15:17:04
Challenges create court confidence

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 6, 2015 - When he went to sleep Thursday night, Jose Casanova hit the bed with more than a little anxiety.... More...

05.10.2015 06:44:41
The Fan Zone - SWATCH Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 6

Fort Lauderdale, United States, October 4, 2015 - Check out all of the best social media posts from Day 6 of the US$500,000 FIVB World Tour Finals! M... More...

04.10.2015 22:54:50
Brazilian beach clinic

04.10.2015 20:37:24
Talita and Larissa net gold medal and richest prize

04.10.2015 19:48:13
Evandro and Pedro rebound for bronze medal finish

04.10.2015 19:31:03
Track stars become beach volleyball fans

04.10.2015 18:51:20
Brazilian world champions net SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals bronze medal

04.10.2015 04:27:58
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 5

04.10.2015 01:49:36
Fort Lauderdale - Another key part of the beach volleyball success story

04.10.2015 01:12:45
Familiar family, friends, fans and FOE

04.10.2015 00:25:55
Players compete for colourful SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals trophy

03.10.2015 21:39:30
Brazil vs. Germany for women’s US$100,000 first-place prize Sunday

03.10.2015 17:58:40
Beach Volleyball Impressions - 1981 from southern California to now in south Florida

03.10.2015 07:37:29
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 4

03.10.2015 00:37:16
Current and past FIVB world champions “stayin’ alive” in Fort Lauderdale

03.10.2015 00:17:07
President Graça meets legends past and present in Fort Lauderdale

03.10.2015 00:01:46
Rematches galore in Fort Lauderdale

02.10.2015 20:00:36
Women’s SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals women’s bracket set

02.10.2015 18:00:52
Brazil, Germany and USA pairs net Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals bracket berths

02.10.2015 05:23:34
Canadian Olympian Drakich likes what he sees

02.10.2015 03:13:50
VIDEOS - Meeting the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals athletes

01.10.2015 22:08:16
German girls twinkling and laughing

01.10.2015 17:44:31
Brazilian world champions featured Wednesday

01.10.2015 12:47:59
Beach volleyball rivalry blasts sky high

01.10.2015 09:42:26
The Fan Zone - Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals - Day 2

01.10.2015 03:16:33
Racecar driver visits SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals

01.10.2015 00:20:29
Lost in America

30.09.2015 12:15:52
VIDEO: First serve launched at World Tour Finals

30.09.2015 10:04:07
The Fan Zone: Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals Day 1

30.09.2015 00:12:55
Wild Card Tuesday at SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals

29.09.2015 20:10:44
Canadians created head shaking

29.09.2015 20:04:28
36 hours or 36 days?

29.09.2015 18:02:45
SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals - Revised side-court schedule

29.09.2015 16:09:18
A mum who sides out

28.09.2015 23:59:13
$500,000 Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

26.09.2015 14:34:13
Milestone Saturday for Lucena and Dalhausser

25.09.2015 16:48:05
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals Participants Dalhausser & Lucena advance in China

24.09.2015 14:07:37
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participants beat the heat & humidity, stayin’ alive

23.09.2015 22:43:20
Brooke's bitter “Sweat" times

23.09.2015 22:20:50
Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals participants - Continue success & starting play

22.09.2015 21:59:13
Making the “Benjamin Button of beach volleyball”

21.09.2015 22:34:11
Day & Kessy jet-setting around the world - SoCal to China to FLA to SoCal

20.09.2015 20:43:21
Disappointment, but elation

20.09.2015 20:39:32
Prelude to Fort Lauderdale

20.09.2015 13:13:42
Fort Lauderdale mayor ready for ‘perfect’ event

19.09.2015 23:59:11
The lull before the Fort Lauderdale Beach Volleyball storm!

19.09.2015 17:41:02
US duos aiming for home glory

18.09.2015 18:04:37
Twenty teams learn Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals fate

18.09.2015 18:00:00
Pools and match schedule announced for inaugural Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals

18.09.2015 02:07:58
Announcement Thursday for beach volleyball

16.09.2015 20:51:14
Gibb & Patterson’s silver medal nets silver lining

16.09.2015 16:48:33
Italian Olympians net Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals berth

16.09.2015 16:41:16
Media Conference launches Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals

14.09.2015 23:55:44
Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder, so to speak

14.09.2015 23:51:23
Ross and Fendrick show class before World Tour Finals

14.09.2015 00:41:50
New Team = Undefeated Champions

13.09.2015 02:19:29
Saturday successes for SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals participants

11.09.2015 11:08:07
Pools set for inaugural Swatch FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals

09.09.2015 09:09:17
First-ever Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals comes to America

31.08.2015 17:32:05
Field for SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals nearly set

10.03.2015 17:18:05
Beach volleyball set for global expansion with new partners