By Paul D. Bowker | May 04, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser (front) prepare to receive a serve at the FIVB World Tour stop on June 4, 2017 in Moscow.

 

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U.S. teams are swarming onto the beach this week in Huntington Beach, California.

Three-time Olympian Phil Dalhausser and his 2016 Olympic teammate Nick Lucena, the top seed in the men’s tournament, lead 77 U.S. teams that are entered in the FIVB Huntington Beach Open.

Teams from 22 other nations are also in the tournament, which began with qualifying play Tuesday and Wednesday for the 48-team main draws in both the women’s and men’s sides. The tournament is a unification event between the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour and AVP pro beach volleyball tour.

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Dalhausser and Lucena opened their season with a 5-star win in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in March, winning all their matches in straight sets. Among the U.S. teams joining Dalhausser and Lucena in the Huntington Beach main draw are two-time Olympian John Hyden and Theo Brunner, three-time Olympian Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb, and Billy Allen and Ryan Doherty. Other Olympians include 2016 Olympian Casey Patterson teaming up with Stafford Slick, and two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal playing with Chase Budinger.

The women’s tournament includes No. 7-seeded and 2016 Olympic teammates Brooke Sweat and Lauren Fendrick, No. 8 Summer Ross and Sara Hughes, No. 14 Alix Klineman and two-time Olympic medalist April Ross, and No. 21 Brittany Hochevar and Kelly Claes, who won silver at the Xiamen Open two weeks ago at their first tournament together.

The semifinals and medal round will be played Sunday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC Sports Network 

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.