Hamburg, Germany, August 27, 2017 – Both at 37 years old, Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena were by far the most experienced players competing in the final four of the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone in Hamburg.
But their age didn’t stop them from taking home the gold medal on Sunday as they defeated 27-year-old Evandro Goncalves and 23-year-old Andre Stein, the reigning world champions of Brazil. Combining for 203 FIVB starts, the veteran Americans made the most of their experience during the tournament, especially in their quarterfinal game against Canada’s Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk, when they came from behind to win the match.
“Beach volleyball is a sport where experience definitely helps,” Dalhausser commented. “That’s why guys can play into their late 30s or early 40s, like Ricardo, Emanuel, John Hyden… We had slow starts against Poland and Brazil and the fact that we won these matches shows that experience can keep you in the game. It definitely doesn’t hurt.”
The Americans' accomplishment was their biggest international victory together, one that has an even more special meaning to both of them, who have known each other for almost two decades and started their careers playing together back in 2003.
“He’s been following me around everywhere I go for the past 18, 19 years,” Lucena joked. “We’ve known each other for so long, we’ve lived together for some years and our families are close. It’s fun. It’s been the most fun I’ve ever had these three years playing with him. He’s the most dominant player in the world, so to be able to play with him, it’s the best.”
Dalhausser and Lucena played together from 2003 and 2005 and joined forces again ten years later, in 2015. In 27 international tournaments together they’ve collected eight golds, six silvers and two bronzes.