Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Two Tough Beach Defeats to Open Playoffs

Dalhausser/Lucena Nearly Upset Top-Ranked Qatar

TOKYO (August 1, 2021) – The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 got off to an intense start for Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena as they battled against the world’s top-ranked team, Cherif Younouse and Ahmed Tijan from Qatar. Although they didn’t come out victorious, Dalhausser and Lucena showcased their skill and determination in a thrilling match that ended with a score of 2-1 (14-21, 21-19, 15-11) in favor of their opponents.

“I’m trying to digest possibly the last international match with my buddy right here and how grateful I am to get to play with someone as great as Phil,” Lucena expressed after the match, reflecting on the possibility of this being their final game together.

Dalhausser and Lucena were the only American team to make a return from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, where they faced defeat against the eventual gold medalists from Brazil. Lucena, now a two-time Olympian, and Dalhausser, a veteran with four Games under his belt, have proven themselves as formidable competitors in the world of beach volleyball.

Despite the loss, Dalhausser delivered an outstanding performance, scoring 26 points and leading all players on the court. His impressive blocking skills resulted in seven successful blocks against the Qatari team, and he also served three aces along with his 16 attack points.

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“I felt like I was playing really good ball coming up to this,” Dalhausser commented on his performance, showcasing his confidence and skill.

Lucena also expressed pride in their performance throughout the tournament, stating, “We played well; we played some tough teams. I thought we played well enough to win today. They just played a little bit better.”

It’s worth noting that Younouse and Tijan trained with Lucena and Dalhausser prior to the Olympics. Lucena mentioned, “We molded them up, now we’re just letting them lose. That team’s gonna be good.”

In the first set, Dalhausser and Lucena dominated the match, handing Younouse and Tijan their first set loss of the tournament. With a comfortable 10-5 lead, they maintained their advantage, eventually winning the set 14-21.

However, the momentum shifted in the second set. With the score tied late in the game, Younouse and Tijan managed two consecutive points, taking a 19-17 lead. They held on to their advantage and won the set, bringing the match to a tie.

In the decisive third set, Younouse and Tijan took control early, leading 5-2 with a 3-0 run. Although the Americans fought back, they were unable to close the gap. At 14-11, Younouse blocked an attempt from Lucena, securing the victory for Qatar and eliminating the U.S. duo from the tournament.

Although Dalhausser and Lucena were unable to advance, two more American teams, Alix Klineman and April Ross, as well as Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne, still have a chance at winning a medal. Klineman and Ross will compete in the Round of 16 on Sunday, August 1 at 5 p.m. Pacific time, while Gibb and Bourne will play their match on Monday, August 2 at 6 a.m. Pacific time.

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  • Q: Who are Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena?

    • Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are professional beach volleyball players representing the United States. They have competed in multiple Olympic Games and are known for their exceptional skills and competitive spirit.
  • Q: How did Dalhausser and Lucena perform in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020?

    • Dalhausser and Lucena faced a tough match against the top-ranked team from Qatar, Cherif Younouse and Ahmed Tijan. Although they put up a strong fight, they narrowly lost with a score of 2-1, showcasing their talent and determination in the tournament.
  • Q: Will there be other American teams competing for a medal in beach volleyball?

    • Yes, there are two more American teams, Alix Klineman and April Ross, as well as Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne, who are still in contention for a medal in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.


Despite a challenging start to the playoffs, Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena displayed their exceptional skills and resilience in their match against the top-ranked team from Qatar. Although they were unable to secure a victory, their performance was commendable, and they represented the United States with pride. As the Olympic Games continue, we look forward to cheering on the remaining American teams as they strive for success in beach volleyball.