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2018-03-04 21:06:00 CET

Italians settle for silver

Lupo and Nicolai had a solid week in the #FTLMajor, but couldn’t handle Nick and Phil

Daniele Lupo was pleased about the silver medal in Fort Lauderdale (Photocredit: FIVB)Daniele Lupo was pleased about the silver medal in Fort Lauderdale (Photocredit: FIVB)

The week in Fort Lauderdale was going well for Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai... until the Italians met Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the gold medal match of the first Beach Major Series tournament of the year.

Playing in front of their home fans, the Americans were too much for the Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalists, who had to settle with the second place. Despite of the disappointment for the setback in the final, the Italians ended the week in Florida with a positive feeling.

“We are happy with the second place,” the 26-year-old Lupo told us. “It was special to be in the final, but it was tough against Nick and Phil. They were really better and deserved it. We made all our preparation without wind and the conditions were so different here. But it’s a good result for us and a promising start for the year. It was an amazing tournament here in Fort Lauderdale and we are looking forward to the next ones.”

Finisce con un argento il #ftlmajor 🇺🇸!! Oggi @njlucena e @phildalhausser hanno meritato di vincere giocando meglio di noi in tutti i fondamentali!! Noi approfittiamo di qualche giorno per ricaricare le pile in vista del 🇶🇦 Qatar!! @beachmajorseries @federazioneitalianapallavolo

563 Likes, 10 Comments - Paolo Nicolai (@paolo_nicolai) on Instagram: "Finisce con un argento il #ftlmajor 🇺🇸!! Oggi @njlucena e @phildalhausser hanno meritato di vincere..."

Lupo and Nicolai had last played in the 2017 World Tour Finals, in Hamburg, last August, one week after they won the European Championships. After a long off-season, they are satisfied with the level they displayed during the week, but also aware that adjustments need to be made for the sequence of the international season.

“We played great matches during the week, but today they deserved to win,” Nicolai added. “They played much better than us. Our receiving got better in the second set and that’s why it was closer than the first, but the truth is they did everything better than us today. They showed why they are one of the best teams in the world and hopefully we can do better next time.”

The Italians won’t have much of a break, though, as they are set to compete in the World four-star tournament in Doha next week.

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