Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 8, 2017 - Led by the top-seeded tandem of Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, 12 teams posted 2-0 pool play records here Wednesday in the $600,000 Fort Lauderdale Major, the first of four Swatch Major Series stops on the 2017 international beach volleyball calendar.
Wednesday’s schedule featured 32 men’s and 18 women’s group matches as Dalhausser and Lucena posted wins over pairs from Brazil and Spain to top Pool A. The final 16 men’s pool contests will be played Thursday morning on the six-court setup at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park to help set the field for the afternoon elimination matches featuring the second- and third-place finishers in each group.
Dalhausser and Lucena can clinch Pool A out-right by defeating 16th-seeded Oleg Stoyanovskiy/Artem Yarzutkin of Russia Thursday to earn one of the eight elimination byes awarded to the group winners. The young Russians, who are the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic champions, will be playing Dalhausser and Lucena for the first time on the FIVB World Tour.
After posting a midday 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) win in 36 minutes over 32nd-seeded Harley Marques/Ricardo Santos of Brazil, Dalhausser and Lucena posted their second win on the lighted centre court at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) win in 34 minutes against Clemens Doppler/Alexander Horst of Austria.
The Americans posted their second straight win over Doppler and Horst on the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park center court as Dalhausser and Lucena defeated the Austrians at the 2015 Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals in October 2015. Overall, Dalhausser and Lucena have a 2-1 edge on the FIVB World Tour with Doppler/Horst.
Russians Viacheslav Krasilnikov (left) and Nikita Liamin give five
Joining Dalhausser and Lucena as the only pool leaders with 2-0 marks are 15th-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin of Russia (Pool B), 14th-seeded Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson of the United States (Pool C) and ninth-seeded qualifiers Saymon Barbosa/Alvaro Filho of Brazil (Pool H).
Brunner and Patterson secured the Pool C title by defeating two Rio 2016 Olympic pairs, including gold medal winners Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil and Markus Bockermann/Lars Fluggen of Germany. The Americans opened play by posting a 2-0 (21-14, 22-20) win in 35 minutes over the third-seeded Alison and Bruno before posting a 2-1 (18-21, 21-19, 17-15) victory in 55 minutes over 19th-seeded Bockermann and Fluggen.
Four pools have two teams tied atop the standings with each deadlocked pair playing each other Thursday morning, including Pool D (fourth-seeded Gustavo Carvalhaes/Pedro Solberg of Brazil and 13th-seeded Michal Bryl/Grzegorz Fijalek of Poland), Pool E (fifth-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak of Poland and 13th-seeded Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter of Canada), Pool F (sixth-seeded Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain and 11th-seeded Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb of the United States ) and Pool G (seventh-seeded Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada and 10th-seeded Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai of Italy).
Focused and ready Italy's Daniele Lupo (forward) with Paolo Nicolai
Thursday’s schedule features 24 men’s matches (16 pool and eight elimination) and 30 women’s pool play matches. The women will begin elimination play on Friday. The men’s semifinal and medal matches will be staged Saturday. The women’s final four matches will be Sunday as the winning pairs will split the $50,000 first-place prizes.