Dalhausser/Lucena move into beach quarterfinals

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Allison Ceruti of Brazil tries to block Pablo Herrera of Spain/FIVB photo

They were trailing 11-10 in the second, but it didn’t matter.

Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena continued their Rio Olympics run right in to the quarterfinals with a 21-14, 21-15 victory Saturday night over Australians Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl.

It puts the Americans into a Monday afternoon match against Brazilians Alison Ceruiti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, a competition that should bring out the best in both teams and what will be an excited crowd in the stadium on Copacabana Beach.

“We got our wish to play Brazil in front of a Brazilian crowd. It should be a ton of fun,” Dalhausser said. “I’ve been in that situation a few times, obviously not in the Olympics, so they should be ramped up a little bit, but hopefully we’ll play well.”

All the men’s matches follow, but first a look ahead to Sunday and the women round of eight.

Women’s Sunday quarterfinals

— Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan, Canada vs. Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst, Germany, 3 p.m. Eastern

— Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr, Switzerland vs. Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca, Brazil, 4 p.m.

— Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas, Brazil vs.Evgeniya Ukolova/Ekaterina Birlova, Russia, 10 p.m.

— Kerri Walsh Jennings/April Ross, USA vs. Taliqua Clancy/Louise Bawden, Australia, 11 p.m.

Men’s Monday quarterfinals

— Alison Cerruti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, Brazil vs. Phil Dalhausser/Nick Lucena, USA, 3 p.m.

— Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, Netherlands vs. Reinder Nummerdor/Christian Varenhorst, Netherlands, 4 p.m.

— Krasilnikov/Semenov, Russia vs. Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy, 10 p.m.

— Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov, Russia vs. Nivaldo Diaz/Sergio Gonzalez, Cuba, 11 p.m.

Sarah Pavan of Canada has some fun with a young fan/FIVB photo
Sarah Pavan of Canada has some fun with a young fan/FIVB photo

Saturday’s women’s round of 16

Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan 2, Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas 0

In an all-Canadian match-up, Bansley’s defense and the 6-foot-5 Pavan’s blocking proved too much 21-16, 21-11 as they beat their compatriots for the fourth consecutive time.

“It is definitely unfortunate we had to meet so early in the draw. Neither of us wanted that to happen, but once the game starts they become another opponent that are in our way and all that disappears,” Pavan said.

“It is terrible it had to come so early, but I’m glad we’re the team that came out on top.”

Bansley had 23 digs as compared to the 14 combined total for Broder and Valjas.

“A couple of years ago we didn’t even think we could get to the Olympics, but the fact we are here now and finished top 10 in the world, we can’t help but be proud of ourselves,” Valjas said.

“It is just too bad we didn’t play as well as we know we can and that is what it is all about, anybody can beat anybody on a given day.”

Bansley leads the women’s competition in digs with 68. Pavan, who had six more blocks, is tied with Walsh Jennings with 18 for tournament.

Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst 2, Anouk Verge-Depre/Forrer 0

The winners will try to become the first Germans to make the semifinals after their 21-19, 21-10 36-minute victory. They play Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley of Canada, against whom they are 1-4.

“We go from game to game and the next game will definitely be tough against the Canadians,” Ludwig said. “We have played them a lot and the matches are always hard and I think we have lost more than we won. We just have to go out and enjoy the whole arena.”

The first set featured nine ties and four lead changes, Ludwig and Walkenhorst held a 15-11 lead before the Swiss scored eight of the next nine points to take a 19-18 advantage.  A successful attack by Ludwig tied the set with a Walkenhorst block and attack ending it. The second set was all Germany.

“It was a tough first set. It was really close. We were a few points in front, but then we gave it up again. The second set we served pretty good and everything was working,” Walkenhorst said.

“We are getting more and more into our rhythm, but I think we can score more points and play better for the next match, but I think it is a good thing.”

Joana Heidrich/Nadine Zumkehr 2, Meppelink/Van Iersel 1

Heidrich and Zumkehr, the first Swiss team to make the quarterfinals, might have been seeded 17th but they moved on with a 19-21, 21-13, 15-10 win ove the Dutch pair.

The deciding set was tied six times before Heidrich and Zumkehr scored six points in a row to take a 12-6 lead.

The best finish by a Swiss women’s team in the Olympics was a ninth by Zumkehr and Simone Kuhn in 2012 in London.

Now, Heidrich and Kuhn will challenge top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil on Sunday. They are winless in three international matches with Talita and Larissa.

Taliqua Clancy/Louis Bawden 2, Kinga Kolosinska/Monika Brzostek 1

The 21-15, 16-21, 15-11 victory by the Australians over the pair from Poland puts them into a quarterfinal match with the USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross that finish up Sunday’s action.

Saturday’s men’s round of 16

Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt 2, Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera 0

The 24-22, 21-13 victory by the Brazilians over the Spanish pair was tightly contested, a little feisty, and a great way for things to get started on the beach at Copacabana where the atmosphere was fantastic.

“We were concentrating on our match, but when we stopped for a while and took a look around us it was amazing,” Schmidt said.

It was their third straight international victory over Gavira and Herrera and once again the Spaniards were ousted from the Olympics by a Brazilian pair. In 2012, Pedro Cunha and Ricardo eliminated Gavira and Herrera in two sets in London.

Cerutti/Schmidt, the FIVB world champions, earned it in the first set, one that included 13 ties and four lead changes.

“It was so good especially in the first set,” Schmidt said. “It was a hard set, but the crowd gave us a lot of support, which means a lot for us.”

Alison/Bruno went up 19-18 on a Bruno serve that clipped the net and fell in front of a diving Herrera. After a Gavira attack tied it at 22, an Alison attack and a Herrera hitting error ended it.

In the second set there it was tied at 11 before the winners broke away. Alison’s sixth block of the match ended the set.

“It was difficult because they are world champions,” Gavira said. ‘It isn’t so much the surrounding. We tried our best and it is enjoyable to play here, but yes it is tough facing the world champions.”

Dmitri Barsouk/Nikita Liamin 2, Pedro Salgado/Evandro Goncalves 1

They were the last ones in and the relatively unknown second Russian team. Not any more.

Dmitri Barsouk and Nikita Liamin stunned and silenced the crowd at the 12,000-seat “Coliseu on Copacabana” by upsetting local residents and medal favorites Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Solberg 16-21, 21-14, 15-10.

“I can’t describe that performance. It just feels great,” Liamin said.

They play Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez and join Russia’s No. 1 team of Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov in the men’s quarterfinals Monday.  Russia will also have Ekaterina Birlova and Evgeniya Ukolova playing in the women’s quarters against reigning FIVB world champions Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil.

“We have helped make history for the Russian team,” Barsouk said. “Nobody has been beyond the round of 16 so we are pleased with what we have achieved.”

Barsouk and Liamin, who qualified for Rio at the FIVB Continental Cup Finals at the start of July in Sochi, Russia, will play Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the quarters.

The home team dominated the first set, but the Russians, tied at 6-6, broke away in the second. In the third, they were boosted by a 10-4 run.

Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen 2, Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk 0

The Dutchmen guaranteed a team from The Netherlands, because their 21-18, 21-15 victory over the Canadians puts them into the quarterfinals Monday against another Dutch team, Reinder Nummerdor and Christiann Varenhorst, who advanced on Friday.

“We train and play every day against each other,”Meeuwsen said. “We always practice with each other a few times a day. We’ve known each other for several years already. We already played in competition seven times against each other, so we know each other pretty well.”

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