By Paul D. Bowker | March 16, 2019, 1:44 p.m. (ET)
Phil Dalhausser (L) and Nick Lucena pose for a photo during a match at the FIVB World Tour 4-star on March 15, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.

 

Beach volleyball standouts Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena, 2016 Olympic teammates, took a step toward the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a runner-up finish Saturday.

Dalhausser and Lucena earned silver at an FIVB World Tour 4-star tournament in Doha, Qatar, losing the championship match to Marco and Esteban Grimalt of Chile 21-15, 21-15.

It was the first time in over a year Dalhausser and Lucena reached a championship match and their first World Tour event since August 2018, when Dalhausser was considering retirement.

The tournament, along with other FIVB World Tour events this year, awards ranking points toward the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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Dalhausser, a three-time Olympian and the 2008 gold medalist, and Lucena finished fourth in this tournament last year.

Dalhausser and Lucena won their first four matches, then reached the final with a 21-19, 21-11 victory over fourth-seeded Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrian Gavira Collado of Spain.

The Grimalts, who are cousins, made their Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio where they lost all three of their matches. They cruised to take a lead in the first set of Saturday’s match, then rebounded from an 8-6 deficit in the second set to overtake Dalhausser and Lucena.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.