2015-09-30 20:00:00 CEST
In a day filled with exceptional matchups, the headline event at the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals on Wednesday was a three-set thriller!
A match between Brazilian World Champions and American legends. The USA won, but with the two rivals likely to meet again before the tournment is over on Sunday, the fireworks are just getting started.
American fans were cheering and Brazilian supporters were dancing throughout three intense Center Court matchups between the historic rivals on Day Two of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals on September 30 – and the vibe went completely off the Richter Scale when the USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena took the sand against Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt.
As number 2 seeds, Alison and Bruno, the new FIVB World Champions, were favored over the wild cards from the USA. But coming back from injury earlier this season, Dalhausser, the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, and “Nick the Quick” have been on the charge, sweeping the field in China to win the FIVB Xiamen Open only days before the action in Fort Lauderdale kicked off. After losing the first set 18-21, the Americans turned on the afterburners midway through the second. The sand was flying with incredible aces, blocks and digs on both sides of the net, as well as finesse touches that had the crowd gasping before Dalhausser and Lucena clinched the final two sets 21-16, 15-11.
“We’re really happy to beat the number one team in the world,” said Lucena, a local favorite who had throngs of friends and family in the grandstands. “If we make it out of Pool play, I’m sure we’ll face them again. They’ll only get better, and I hope we’ll get better, too.”
Earlier, U.S. women also defeated reigning FIVB World Champions from Brazil, when Lauren Fendrick and April Ross downed Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas. Brazil got its revenge, however, in the final Center Court match, when Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca handed Jennifer Kessy and Emily Day their second loss in the season’s most important tournament.
Another nailbiter for American fans happened in the morning when Casey Patterson twisted his ankle in a fierce contest against Spain. After a medical time out to tape the ankle, Patterson and his partner Jake Gibb put on a ferocious display to defeat the tenacious Spaniards in three sets.
The action will only escalate when Pool play for men and women continues on Thursday, as the winner of each pool earns a precious bye past the first elimination round.
RESULTS, SWATCH BEACH VOLLEYBALL FIVB WORLD TOUR FINALS: WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 30
Women, Pool A
Fendrick/Ross (USA) win vs. Agatha/Barbara Seixas (Brazil): 17-21, 21-19, 15-11
Ludwig/Walkenhorst (Germany) win vs. Broder/Valjas (Canada): 21-18, 21-17
Agatha/Barbara Seixas (Brazil) win vs. Broder/Valjas (Canada): 19-21, 21-18, 15-12
Women, Pool B
Larissa/Talita (Brazil) win vs. Meppelink/Van Iersel (Netherlands): 21-17, 15-21, 15-13
Pavan/Bansley (Canada) win vs. Laboureur/Sude (Germany): 21-13, 21-16
Laboureur/Sude (Germany) win vs. Meppelink/Van Iersel (Netherlands): 21-17, 23-21
Larissa/Talita (Brazil) win vs. Kessy/Day (USA): 21-13, 21-18
Men, Pool A
Gibb/Patterson (USA) win vs. Gavira/Herrera (Spain): 19-21, 21-16, 18-16
Evandro/Pedro Solberg (Brazil) win vs. Lupo/Nicolai (Italy): 13-21, 21-19, 15-12
Brouwer/Meeuwsen (Netherlands) win vs. Gavira/Herrera (Spain): 19-21, 26-24, 15-11
Men, Pool B
Nummerdor/Varenhorst (Netherlands) win vs. Saxton/Schalk (Canada): 21-18, 21-18
Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) win vs. Alison/Bruno Schmidt (Brazil): 18-21, 21-16, 15-11