Just two USA teams are left in the third of three 4-star FIVB Cancun Hub pro beach tournaments and they will play for bronze Sunday.
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena take on Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi at noon local (U.S. Central), followed by April Ross and Alix Klineman playing Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes at 1 p.m.
The gold-medal matches follow, with Qatar’s Ahmed Tijan and Cherif Samba playing Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov at 2:30 p.m., and Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa playing Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho at 4.
Dalhausser and Lucena reached the semifinals by defeating the Netherlands’ Stefan Boerman and Yorick de Groot (21-18, 21-17), but were defeated by Qataris Samba and Tijan (21-15, 21-17).
Head-to-head, Dalhausser and Lucena and Carambula and Rossi have split, with the Italians winning at the World Tour Finals in Rome (19-21, 21-16, 15-12), and the Americans winning at the Vienna 5-star (21-17, 21-13).
Ross and Klineman beat Switzerland’s Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart (21-17, 11-21, 15-9) to reach the medal rounds, but their bid for gold was thwarted by Australia’s Artacho and Clancy (21-11, 21-15).
Ross and Klineman and Pavan and Humana-Paredes have an extensive competitive history, with Klineman and Ross leading 4-3 in FIVB competition, 4-2 in AVP competition.
Americans Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes finished in fifth after falling to Pavan and Humana-Paredes (21-18, 20-22, 15-12). Sponcil and Claes will not improve their Olympic qualification scores, as the 480-point Cancun Hub 3 fifth-place finish is the same as their lowest Olympic finish.
Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb also finished fifth, losing to Russians Semenov and Leshukov (21-16, 21-17). They will replace their 360-point finish from Rome with 480 from Cancun Hub 3, but will lose ground to Dalhausser and Lucena.
Samba and Tijan advanced to the semifinals by defeating Brazil’s Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho (23-21, 21-15), while Carambula and Rossi beat Poland’s Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak (24-22, 18-21, 15-10).
Semenov and Leshukov subsequently defeated Carambula and Rossi to earn the right to play for gold.
Artacho and Clancy booked their semifinal berth with a win over Cuban qualifiers Lidiannis Echeverria and Yanisleidis Sanchez (21-11, 21-17), while Bednarczuk and Lisboa eliminated the Netherlands’ Marleen Van Iersel and Pleun Ypma (15-21, 21-9, 15-11).
Bednarczuk and Lisboa relegated Pavan and Humana-Paredes to the bronze medal match with a 21-15, 20-22, 16-14 win.