Americans Tri Bourne and John Hyden exacted a measure of revenge at the Swatch World Tour Finals in Toronto on Saturday with a 21-18, 21-19 win over compatriots Nick Lucena and Phil Dalhausser to earn a berth in the medal rounds.
Two weeks ago, the pairs met at the AVP Championships in Chicago, and Lucena/Dalhausser had their way that day in a 21-13, 21-7 win, with Dalhausser putting up 10 blocks.
This time, Bourne/Hyden altered the rhythm of the match by going to Hyden on two contacts. Their strategy did not allow Lucena/Dalhausser to get comfortable on defense and was rewarded by a trip to Sunday’s medal rounds. Dalhausser was limited to two blocks.
“Finally we made the semifinals of a big tournament this year,” Bourne said. “I’ve been dying to get here this year and expected to be here earlier to be honest but just in time.
“This is our chance to go against the Olympians. We obviously didn’t earn the right to be there due to the country quota but we wanted to show we belonged.”
Hyden had confidence, despite dropping the last six head-to-head meetings with Dalhausser and Lucena.
“It’s been proven that anybody can win on this tour, so we came in with — I won’t say high expectations — but expectations to play well,” Hyden said. “We felt good, everybody here has been to the Olympics but us, so this is kind of our Olympics and we’re glad to be where we at.”
Canadians Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton delighted the home fans by edging Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands) 21-19, 21-19. The Canadians then followed it up with a win over Bartosz Losiak/Piotr Kantor (Poland) 17-21, 21-12, 15-11 to reach the medal rounds.
On the women’s side, Pool D ruled the day, as two Pool D teams fought their way into the Sunday morning gold medal finals.
Pool D’s Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (Germany) continue to plow through the single-elimination playoff format, sending Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes (Brazil) to the bronze medal match in a straight set 21-19, 21-19 win.
Joana Heidrich/Heidi Zumkehr (Switzerland), also of Pool D, booked their ticket to the gold medal final with a three set 14-21, 21-15, 15-10 come-from-behind win over countrywomen Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre.
Forrer/Verge-Depre rebounded quickly, however, defeating Larissa/Talita in the bronze-medal match 21-19, 21-18.
Where do they keep the medals?
The FIVB asked the Olympians and got these answers:
Joana Heidrich/Heidi Zumkehr (Switzerland) def. Isabelle Forrer/Anouk Verge-Depre (Switzerland) 14-21, 21-15, 15-10.
Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst (Germany) def. Larissa Franca/Talita Antunes (Brazil) 21-19, 21-19.
Men’s Round of 16:
Grzegorz Fijalek/Mariusz Prudel (Poland) def. Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter (Canada) 21-18, 17-21, 15-12.
Nick Lucena/Phil Dalhausser (USA) def. Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter (Canada) 21-18, 17-21, 15-12.
Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton (Canada) def. Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen (Netherlands) 21-19, 21-19.
Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg (Brazil) def. Alex Ranghieri/Adrian Carambula (Italy) 21-18, 22-24, 16-14.
Women’s Bronze medal match:
Forrer/Verge-Depre (Switzerland) def. Franca/Antunes (Brazil) 21-19, 21-18.
Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt def. Fijalek/Prudel (Poland) 21-19, 21-15.
Tri Bourne/John Hyden (USA) def. Lucena/Dalhausser (USA) 21-18, 21-19.
Schalk/Saxton (Canada) def. Losiak/Kantor (Poland) 17-21, 21-12, 15-11.
Goncalves/Solberg (Brazil) def. Alexanders Samoilovs/Janis Smedins (Latvia) 21-18, 23-21.