FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Cincinnati Open | 17 - 21 May 2016


Press release

USA Olympic hopefuls Dalhausser/Lucena start fast at Cincinnati Open

Seeking a spot on the USA Olympic team, USA's Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena opened pool play Wednesday at the FIVB Cincinnati Open in Mason, Ohio with a three-set win over a team from Switzerland.

Mason, Ohio, USA, May 18, 2016 – Phil Dalhausser, a veteran of the last two Olympiads, took a moment to ponder not only what it would take to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but also what kind of seeding would be most favorable once he and partner Nick Lucena reach their goal.

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Then Dalhausser caught himself.

“You can do all the little numbers and whatever,” Dalhausser said. “But if anything, if you worry about it, it takes you off your game.”

That came moments after the second-seeded men’s team in the double-gender FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, escaped a disastrous start by defeating Switzerland’s Adrian Heidrich and Gabriel Kissling, 21-16, 20-22, 16-14, to open pool play in the main draw at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The men played one of their three pool play matches on Wednesday and will finish with two final pool play matches on Thursday before single elimination play starts on Friday.

Dalhausser/Lucena, who are battling Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson plus John Hyden/Tri Bourne for the two United States slots in Olympic qualifying, had to rally from a 7-3 deficit in the third game. They righted their ship with five consecutive points, with Lucena scrambling to save one point and Dalhausser scoring with three blocks during the run.

“Yeah, I guess you could call it rust,” Dalhausser said. “It wasn’t how we planned it. We kind of took off the gas in the second. We got a little bit of a lead and they came back and it almost screwed us.”

It was the first time the duo took the court since they pulled out of the AVP Huntington Beach Open after one match a week and a half ago due to Lucena’s sore right shoulder. It was a precautionary move with three FIVB World Tour events that are the final three Olympic qualifying events looming for Dalhuasser and Lucena, who still need to play at least one more tournament in order reach the minimum eligibility requirement of 12 tournament participations.

“It’s doing better,” Lucena said of his shoulder. “It’s been like that for 2 1/ 2 years, so we made the choice (to withdraw) because we had some important tournaments coming up. It wasn’t the easiest choice to make, but the right choice.

“It’s been getting gradually a little worse with the pain. I’m getting the majority of the serves, so we wanted to keep it smart.”

Dalhausser/Lucena still have the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam and Swatch FIVB Hamburg Major to compile points for Olympic qualification.

“We still have to have two more good finishes,” Lucena said. “There’s two Grand Slams and any U.S. team can win that. We still have to qualify. Once we qualify, I’m not worried about the seed. There are 12-15 teams that can win (Olympic gold). You’re going to have to play a lot of good teams. If we make it, great, we’ll worry about that if we make it.”

Their victory was part of a challenging day for American teams in pool play.  Top-seeded Gibb and Patterson also had a tough time putting away Puerto Rico’s Roberto Rodriguez-Bertran, 21-11, 15-21, 15-13.

“Casey settled down a little bit,” said Gibb a two-time Olympian. “He was anxious because he played against those guys in the Puerto Rico indoor league. He was geeked up to play them. He just had to settle down a little bit.”

Brothers Trevor and Taylor Crabb came back in the third game for a 21-15, 13-21, 15-13 win over Australia’s Bo Soderberg and Cole Durant, and fourth-seeded Hyden and Bourne downed Norwegian qualifiers Hendrik Mol and Lars Tvinde, 23-21, 21-14.

USA’s 10th-seeded John Mayer/Ryan Doherty scored a 21-12, 32-30 win over Japan’s Katsuhiro Shiratori/Yoshiumi Hasegawa.  USA’s Todd Rogers, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist with Dalhausser, and Robbie Page fell to fifth-seeded Germans Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik, 14-21, 21-14, 15-13. USA qualifiers Jeremy Casebeer and Derek Olson lost to sixth-seeded Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen of Mexico, 24-22, 21-14.

The gold medal teams at the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points.

Additional information on the event is available online both at and While general admission to the tournament is free, tickets are available online for the VIP prime seating areas at

With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio, Vitoria and Fortaleza, the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB World Tour was in Europe for two events over the last two weeks. Up first was in Russia two weeks followed by last week’s FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 10-15). The tour is visiting the United States for the first time in 2016 this week for the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP (May 17-21) in Mason, Ohio. Next week, the FIVB World Tour returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29). After a one week respite, the final Olympic qualifying event on the FIVB World Tour will be the FIVB Hamburg Major Series in Germany (June 7-12).

The FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, is the 343rd men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 304th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992.

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