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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena outlasted compatriots John Hyden and Ryan Doherty to win the Fort Lauderdale Major bronze medal on Saturday.
As the men's bracket came to a close on Saturday, Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross will rest up before playing Brazil in the semifinals at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.
For the two other USA teams that broke into the weekend action, John Hyden and Ryan Doherty finished their spectacular week with a fourth-place finish. Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross concluded their season-opening tournament tying for fifth.
In the all-USA men's bronze medal match, points seesawed until Hyden and Doherty took a slight lead at 11-7. After Lucena applied some pressure with key defense, down 11-10, it looked as if Dalhausser and Lucena could close the gap. Hyden and Doherty were able to stretch their lead to win the first set 21-14.
The second set was swapped in the other direction, Dalhausser and Lucena gained momentum at 8-5, then took control later at 16-10. The pair sent it into a third frame after winning the second stanza, 21-13. Despite Dalhausser and Lucena dashing to a 6-1 start, Hyden and Doherty battled within reach, 9-8. Three of the last four plays of the match were kills from Dalhausser/Lucena to seal the podium finish, 15-10.
"I'll take a third any day on three and a half weeks' practice," Lucena said. "We're fortunate. Any win you can get out here, in any game, the teams are so tough. I'm disappointed that we didn't get to that final and come out with a gold medal, but fortunate enough to get on the podium."
Dalhausser and Lucena had the shortest turn-around time of all four men's quarterfinal teams, playing in Friday's final match that ended after 9 p.m., returning to play in the first semifinal at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. "I thought we were flat," Lucena said after the semifinal. "They played well, not to take anything away from them. They applied a lot of pressure with side outs. They definitely had more energy than us. We had a quick turnaround."
Brazil's Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola beat Dalhausser and Lucena 21-16, 21-19. Hyden and Doherty also suffered a semifinal loss to Brazil, 21-16, 21-9 to Alvaro Filho and Saymon Santos.
Sweat and S. Ross cleaned up their quarterfinal match against Czech Republic's Kristyna Kolocova/Michala Kvapilova, 21-13, 21-14. The pair are undefeated heading into Sunday's finals, in their first tournament together as a team. This week in Fort Lauderdale, the 13th-seeded duo have upset four-seeded Germany in pool play and swept their opponents in four of five matches.
A. Ross and Walsh Jennings tied for fifth after a quarterfinal defeat to Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa, 16-21, 21-15, 20-18.
"It was so back and forth," Ross said of the match. "We were up, then it was back and forth in the middle, then they got up at the end and we came back. I thought for sure we were going to get it. We did everything the best we could. Our defense is a little bit shaky at this point in the season, I felt that way in every other match but we got away with it."
During the week, A. Ross and Walsh Jennings completed pool play 3-0 and topped Russia in the second round on Friday night. Their next expected FIVB World Tour event is Rome, in June.
Records as of Feb. 11
Sweat/S. Ross advance to semifinals vs BRA Larissa/Talita
Third place: Dalhausser/Lucena
Fourth place: Hyden/Doherty
Tied for fifth: Ross/Walsh Jennings; Gibb/Taylor Crabb
Tied for ninth: Fendrick/Hughes, Hochevar/Day; Brunner/Patterson
Tied for 17th: Claes/Reeves; Rosenthal/Trevor Crabb
Tied for 25th: Carico/Pollock
|Fort Lauderdale 5-Star Roster|
|April Ross||Kerri Walsh Jennings||Marcio Sicoli||Main Draw|
|Brooke Sweat||Summer Ross||Ty Tramblie||Main Draw|
|Lauren Fendrick||Sara Hughes||Main Draw|
|Lane Carico||Irene Pollock||Jason Lochead||Main Draw Wild Card|
|Brittany Hochevar||Emily Day||Hector Gutierrez||Qualifier|
|Kelly Claes||Kelly Reeves||Qualifier Wild Card|
|Emily Stockman||Kimberly DiCello||Qualifier|
|Phil Dalhausser||Nick Lucena||Paul Baxter||Main Draw|
|John Hyden||Ryan Doherty*||Jon Daze||Main Draw|
|Jake Gibb||Taylor Crabb||Main Draw|
|Casey Patterson||Theo Brunner||Rich Lambourne||Main Draw Wild Card|
|Stafford Slick||Billy Allen||Qualifier|
|Sean Rosenthal||Trevor Crabb||Jeff Alzina||Qualifier Wild Card|
|Phil Noyes||USAV Video Scout|
|Corinne Calabro||USAV Communications|
*Ryan Doherty will play in place of Tri Bourne for this event
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USA Volleyball Youtube: Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena beat Olympic champions in Fort Lauderdale