FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

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


Press release

Familiar family, friends, fans and FOE

American Nick Lucena and his son are happy, excited and joyful after advancing to the gold medal match with Phil Dalhausser at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 3, 2015 – Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser are right at home in the familiar surroundings of South Florida, with family and friends soaking in their run in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals.

They will see two more familiar faces when they play for the gold medal on Sunday and they won’t be as friendly.

Dalhausser and Lucena righted themselves in the third game to defeat Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer of the Netherlands in the semifinals, setting up a gold-medal matchup against the No. 1 team in the world, Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil.

All that’s on the line is $100,000 for the winning team, the top international prize in Beach Volleyball history.

“It’ll be fun just to win,” Dalhausser said. “I want to win a gold medal.”

“Just winning this tournament is the main thing that motivates me,” Dalhausser said, “just saying that Nick and I are one of the best teams in the world and kind of making a statement.”

“We just want to continue to stay in the moment as much as we can,” Bruno said after the Brazilians scored a 21-17, 23-21 win over countrymen Pedro Salgado and Evandro. “Being in the final against the home team, it’s going to be fantastic.”

Boosted by a boisterous crowd on the beach where Lucena and Dalhausser learned the game, the duo rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third game behind the blocking of Dalhausser, who recorded nine blocks in the 21-18, 19-21, 15-12 victory.

Meeuwsen and Brouwer rebounded from the first game to take a 17-11 lead in the second, but they ultimately could not fend off the comeback.

Dalhausser’s block gave his team an 11-9 lead, then Lucena had two kills and Dalhausser added another block for a 14-10 advantage.

“I told Phil, ‘Let’s just keep siding out and stay on Alex and see if we can score a couple points,’ ” Lucena said. “Phil got a couple blocks and once we got a lead, I didn’t think there was a way we could lose it.”

“They played really well, especially Phil in blocking,” Meeuwsen said. “You could see in the third set. He is so dominant in blocking. It was really tough for us, there was a lot of wind so it was hard for our setting as well, but I think they were better in the third set.”

This is the fifth FIVB World Tour event that Dalhausser and Lucena have played in since reuniting in mid-summer, and it’s their fourth final. They’ve won once and fell in the final of the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam to Bruno and Alison, their only previous meeting with the Brazilians.

“They’re the best team in the world, they’re the favorites and we’re coming in with our home crowd and I hope we get an upset,” Dalhausser said. “If the crowd is half as good as it was today, that gives us a huge advantage.”

Bruno and Alison only had moments of trouble in their victory over Pedro and Evandro, but they acknowledged the difficulty in playing against fellow Brazilians who have split their four meetings.

“Evandro, it is amazing what he is doing, especially here, serving like fire all the time,” Bruno said. “Brazil vs. Brazil is always like more than just playing. You have a lot of emotion involved. You have a mix of everything and for sure we know each other, so it’s always complicated.”

The first game was tied at 17-17 before the 6-foot-8 Alison scored on a kill and consecutive aces.

Evandro and Pedro appeared to be in control of the second by grabbing a 19-17 lead, but again Alison came through when it counted. This time, he sent a kill down the line and came up with two blocks and at match point added the winning point with another block.

“This game was really bad,” Pedro said. “We played our worst match in the tournament and it’s very disappointing to finish this game playing like this.

“We’ve played them four times we beat them two times, they beat us two times. It’s always a battle, it’s never easy. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about playing really well.”

Pedro and Evandro will face Meeuwsen and Brouwer in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

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