Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are the lone Americans left in the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany.
Dalhausser and Lucena had already advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals and Friday off as the three other American pairs, Theo Brunner and Casey Patterson, April Ross and Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross were eliminated.
In the men’s quarterfinals, top-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena face No. 12 Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada. The other matches have sixth-seeded Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland playing fourth-seeded Germans Markus Bockermann and Lorenz Schumann, fifth-seeded Daniel Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy playing ninth-seeded Spainards Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera, and second-seeded Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil playing eighth-seeded Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst.
Saturday’s women’s gold-medal and bronze-medal matches are set for the last FIVB event of the season.
Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany, who won the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships earlier this month in Vienna, will try to thrill the home crowd when they go for gold against Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa.
Fellow Brazilians Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca play Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan for the bronze.
Ross and Fendrick lost to Switzerland’s Joanna Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre 21-16, 21-13.
“It wasn’t our day at all,” Ross said. “We’re not at 100 percent right now and it showed a lot on this match. It’s a bummer to come all the way here to the World Tour Finals and not be able to play your best.
“We’re super thankful for the opportunity but it just wasn’t going to happen for us in this tournament”.
Sweat and Ross fell to Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 21-18, 13-21, 15-9.
“We just broke down in the third set,” Ross said. “We couldn’t pass and just let them have it. They brought their game in the third set and we didn’t.”
Brunner and Patterson lost to Bockermann and Schumann 21-19, 21-17.
“We gave that game to them.”, Patterson said. “I think that we just handed them a Christmas present early. We made unforced errors that we could control and they made the plays they needed to make. They settled in and were more consistent. We had a huge lead and didn’t protect it.”
His partner didn’t argue.
“It’s frustrating because we feel this match was our season in a nutshell,” Brunner said. “We played really well and then really bad. We never stayed in the middle. It’s just frustrating to feel that way when we end our season”.