FIVB2017 SWATCH BEACH VOLLEYBALL FIVB WORLD TOUR FINALS – MEN
For the first time in the three-year history of the FIVB World Tour Finals, the men’s World Tour Finals champions were from a country outside of Brazil. On Sunday, Amereicans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena swept away the World Champions Evandro/Andre of Brazil in rather comfortable fashion to take the gold medal.
In 367 men’s FIVB World Tour event in history, the Brazilians and Americans have now faced in 66 gold medal matches – with the Brazilians still holding an edge 34-32. Dalhausser and Lucena have taken 16 podium finishes in 27 World Tour tournaments together, including 8 wins. The $100,000 payout was the biggest of their careers, either together or separately,
Meanwhile, in the bronze medal game, the European Champions Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo beat out Poland’s Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor to take bronze.
#1 Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) def. #2 Evandro/Andre (Brazil) 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) – GOLD MEDAL MATCH
“It’s one of the biggest things in my career,” said American Phil Dalhausser, for whom this was a 37th World Tour win. “We caught Evandro on an off day. He made a lot of errors and we got lucky with that. Nick played steady and that was good enough today. They rely on Evandro’s serve and he wasn’t hitting in a row today. It’s really satisfying. This is by far the deepest I’ve ever seen out here in the World Tour. Hamburg has been good to us, it’s two for two here.”
Dalhausser’s post-match comments pretty well summed up the day for the Americans. Brazil’s Evandro Oliveira couldn’t find his serve and made too many errors, allowing the Americans to win their 12th-straight match in the city of Hamburg.
Evandro was upbeat after the loss, saying that the season was a positive one for them – in spite of ending it with a loss.
“We wanted to win the gold medal especially against them because we’d lot the last time we met. The season has been positive for us, especially after winning the World Championships, but we know we still have a lot to improve. We will learn from this setback and use it as motivation for next year.”
Dalhausser’s teammate Nick Lucena expressed his excitement at the victory. “Getting a win is always good, but beating the world champions is awesome. It doesn’t happen often. We were able to side out even if we were scrambling. We kept the pressure on them and Phil did a good job on that matter with his block scoring points. Evandro is the most dangerous server I’ve ever seen and we were fortunate to win. We haven’t lost here, so I’m hoping we can come back next year. We’ve been pretty blessed here.”
“We’re frustrated because we wanted to win, but it’s pleasant that we managed to be yet in another final after the World Championships,” said Andre Loyola, who two weeks ago became the youngest-ever FIVB Beach Volleyball World Champion. “They are a very good and consistent team and we were below our usual level. Our serving, which is a big part of our game, didn’t work today while theirs putted us in trouble several times. We know we still have a lot to improve and we will work on it.”
Nicolai/Lupo (Italy) def. Losiak/Kantor (Poland) 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-12) – BRONZE MEDAL MATCH
Italians Nicolai/Lupo finished their season with another podium finish, following last week’s European title.
“The last two weeks were amazing,” Nicolai said. “We won the European Championships last week and now we’re in the podium again. It’s a good way to finish the season. The Polish are an amazing team. It’s great to finish the season with a win.”
Nicolai/Lupo have had the Poles’ number – they also won a matchup at the 2016 Olympic Games that propelled team Italy to the elimination rounds before an eventual silver medal finish.
“We made a lot of mistakes and wasted the chances we had,” Losiak said. “FIVBWe started slow in the third set and it was hard to catch them after that. Last year we finished fifth, so this is a better result for us. Hopefully we can keep climbing next year”.