Gstaad, Switzerland, July 7, 2017 - Swiss-born Phil Dalhausser and his partner Nick Lucena of Cuban heritage captured their pool here Friday to lead the men’s field into Saturday’s elimination rounds at the US$600,000 Gstaad Major as the FIVB World Tour returns to the Swiss Alps for the 18th-straight season.
The third-seeded Americans defeated 14th-seeded compatriots Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson 2-0 (21-12, 21-13) in a 29-minute Pool A match. With a 3-0 group record, Dalhausser and Lucena secured a “bye” for the first-round of Saturday’s elimination schedule where the second-place finishers in each pool will play the third-place pairs as determined by a late afternoon draw Friday.
With the Gstaad Major being Dalhausser’s 104th FIVB World Tour stop, the Swiss Alps village is the place where he has played his most international Beach Volleyball events as the 2017 competition is his 10th in the picturesque surroundings.
The 37-year old Dalhausser was born in Baden and moved to the United States with his Swiss mother and German father when he was barely one-year old. He has competed with three different partners in Gstaad and reached the Swiss podium with each after placing second with Lucena last season.
Dalhausser’s win Friday was his 50th in Gstaad in 61 matches. He and Todd Rogers won two international Beach Volleyball titles in Gstaad, including the 2007 FIVB World Championships followed by another podium-topping performance in 2010. Dalhausser also won a Gstaad title with Sean Rosenthal in 2014.
Other teams winning pools Friday to secure “byes” in the first-round of elimination were top-seeded Alvaro Filho/Saymon Barbosa (Pool A) and sixth-seeded Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola (Pool F) of Brazil, 10th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland (Pool G), 13th-seeded Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb of the United States (Pool D), 15th-seeded Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada (Pool B), 21st-seeded qualifier Anders Mol/Christian Sorum of Norway (Pool E) and 25th-seeded Sergio Gonzalez/Nivaldo Diaz of Cuba (Pool H).
With the women’s “final four” matches Saturday, the men’s semi-final and medal matches will be played Sunday. The winning teams will share the $40,000 first-place prizes in the third of three SWATCH Major Series stops on the 2017 FIVB World Tour.