03/04/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/04/2018 17:39
By Gary R. Blockus | March 04, 2018, 5:14 p.m. (ET)
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena kicked off the 2018 FIVB World Tour by winning the 5-star Fort Lauderdale Major on Sunday.
The American beach volleyball duo won all its matches in straight sets, including the championship win over 2016 Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy by scores of 21-12, 21-17.
The teams last met in pool play at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, with the Americans winning that match but ultimately finishing in fifth place.
The 6-foot-9 Dalhausser, a three-time Olympian and an Olympic champion in 2008, re-joined with Lucena in 2015 after a decade apart, and their results have been outstanding.
They won the FIVB World Tour Finals last August in Hamburg, Germany, by defeating reigning world champions Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil.
Dalhausser and Lucena finished fifth at the world championships in Vienna, Austria, earlier that month. The 38-year-olds also won the Gstaad 5-star last July.
The Fort Lauderdale win marked Dalhausser's 38th career FIVB gold medal and ninth with Lucena. Only legendary Brazilians Emanuel Rego (77) and Ricardo Santos (56) have won more FIVB gold medals.
Dalhausser and Lucena defeated Latvia's Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins 2-0 (21-14, 21-12) in Saturday's semifinals.