Lucena/Dalhausser unbeatable at Fort Lauderdale – Brazilian women dominate first Major in 2018
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena (USA) were the dominators at the FIVB Major Series event at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Having posted clear wins throughout the tournament eliminating major European competitors, they won the gold medal match against European Champions Lupo/Nicolai from Italy in two straight sets (21:12, 21:17). The night before they had easily reached the final after defeating Samoilovs/Smedins (Latvia) in the semi-finals. The Latvians claimed the bronze medal by beating Pedro Solberg/George Wanderley (Brazil) who had lost their semi-final in a close match against Lupo/Nicolai (22:24, 23:25).
Lucena/Dalhausser didn’t lose a single set througout the whole event. While Phil Dalhausser was the best blocker of the tournament with 45 blocks, Nick Lucena could finally claim a major win at his home turf:
“It is a dream come true to win here at home. And we greatly managed to bring the Italians out system.”
In an all-Brazilian women’s final Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Berti Alves won the title beating Taiana De Souza Lima and Carolina Horta in the gold medal match. In two straight sets (21:16, 21:13), they won their first title on the Major Series since they joined forces in 2016. Their compatriots Taiana/Carol were not able to keep the pace in their tenth match in six days after going through the qualifiers in Florida. The team had just recently been formed after Taiana’s regular partner Elize Maia had suffered an injury.
Barbara/Fernanda tested replacement Carol consistently by exclusively serving her in the final.
“It was our aggressiveness that helped us. And we knew Taiana/Carol very well although they were like a dark horse throughout the tournament.”
Barbara/Fernanda had beaten Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross (USA) in a three-set thriller (21:18, 26:28, 21:19) in the semi-finals. The Americans secured third place after defeating Bieneck/Schneider (Germany) in the bronze medal match.
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