RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena tied for fifth at the Olympic Games following a three-set match against Brazil in the quarterfinal.
Lauded as the match most were expecting to see during the gold medal round, Brazil's Alison Cerutti/Bruno Schmidt beat Dalhausser and Lucena 21-14, 12-21, 15-9 on Monday night in high winds on Copacabana Beach.
"It went from dead calm in the warm-ups to blowing hard within a second," said Dalhausser. "It was really weird and it took us a little time to get accustomed to it… They handled the wind great. We didn't handle it very well."
Points traded in the first set and fans in attendance knew it would be a close match when the biggest lead at the start was 8-5, Brazil. Dalhausser kept it within reach following an ace serve for 10-8.
The Brazilian pair stretched for their biggest lead of the match, 15-10 and went on to win the first set, 21-14.
Momentum shifted in the second set as the U.S. went up an unanswered 5-0. Soon it was 18-12 for the Americans, ending on a streak to equalize the sets, winning the frame 21-12.
"I thought we adjusted to the wind a lot better," Lucena said. "I mean it really came out of nowhere, but we switched sets, and I was able to side out a little better. They served tougher in the third game. My hats off to them. They earned it."
The wind didn't let up in the third, which saw Dalhausser and Lucena struggle to gain a lead, falling behind 5-3. The two took a timeout after a spectacular chase by Brazil led to them cushioning their lead 9-5. Brazil eventually outlasted the Florida-native Americans, winning the set 15-9, and the spot in the men's semifinal.
"That's the problem with pool play," Dalhausser said of meeting the Brazilians in the quarterfinals. "You do your job, you win your pool and you could end up with a bad draw, but it is what it is. We could have played better."
April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings will face No. 2 Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil at midnight/11 p.m. ET on Aug. 16 in one of the women's semifinals.
"I think they have a good shot," Lucena said of Ross and Walsh Jennings. "I think they're in control and they're going to do great things. Go USA!"
DAY IN REVIEW
2016 Olympic Games | Aug. 15
- Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena tied for fifth, in Dalhausser's third Olympic Games (9th, 2012; Gold, 2008) and Lucena's first. The pair went 4-1 at the Olympics, falling 21-14, 12-21, 15-9 to Brazil's Alison/Bruno in the quarterfinals.
UPCOMING MATCHES | Add to your schedule
Aug. 16, 11 p.m. ET Semifinal Ross/Walsh Jennings vs Brazil
Aug. 17, 11 p.m./9 p.m. ET Medal Match Ross/Walsh Jennings vs TBD
Aug. 6, Gibb/Patterson def Qatar 21-16, 21-16
Aug. 6, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Australia 21-14, 21-13
Aug. 7, Fendrick/Sweat loss Poland 14-21, 21-13, 15-7
Aug. 7, Dalhausser/Lucena def Tunisia 21-7, 21-13
Aug. 8, Gibb/Patterson loss Austria 21-18, 21-18
Aug. 8, Ross/Walsh Jennings def China 21-16, 21-9
Aug. 9, Dalhausser/Lucena def Mexico 21-14, 21-17
Aug. 9, Fendrick/Sweat loss Brazil 21-16, 21-13
Aug. 10, Gibb/Patterson loss Spain 21-19, 16-21, 15-7
Aug. 10, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Switzerland 21-13, 22-24, 15-12
Aug. 11, Fendrick/Sweat loss Russia 21-18, 24-26, 15-13
Aug. 11, Dalhausser/Lucena def Italy 21-13, 17-21, 24-22
Aug. 12, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Italy 21-10, 21-16; Round of 16
Aug. 13, Dalhausser/Lucena def Austria 21-14, 21-15; Round of 16
Aug. 14, Ross/Walsh Jennings def Australia 21-14, 21-16; Quarterfinal
Aug. 15, Dalhausser/Lucena loss Brazil 21-14, 12-21, 15-9; Quarterfinal
t5th Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena
t19th Lauren Fendrick/Brooke Sweat
t19th Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson