The bubble burst Sunday after a great run through the FIVB Moscow beach volleyball tournament for Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross, but fellow Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena won men’s gold.
Dalhausser and Lucena, the No. 4 seed, beat eighth-seeded Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin of host Russia in a thriller, 21-17, 22-24, 18-16, in the men’s final at the Vodny Stadium Beach Sports Centre.
It was the sixth FIVB World Tour gold medal since August 2015 for Dalhausser and Lucena, who will share $10,000 for winning the three-star event with a five-star field. The tournaments leading up to Vienna are expected to be unusually strong as teams strive to qualify for the world championships.
Dalhausser had previously won in Moscow in 2008 with Todd Rogers. They finished second in 2010 and third in 2011. Dalhausser got a bronze in 2014 with Sean Rosenthal. Lucena had two ninth-place finishes in Moscow with Matt Fuerbringer in 2010 and 2012.
Dalhausser and Lucena, fifth-place finishers at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, are 112-26 together.
The Moscow title was also Dalhausser’s 35th FIVB World Tour gold medal. He ranks third all-time on the men’s list behind Brazilians Emanuel Rego (77) and Ricardo Santos (56). Six of his international titles have been with Lucena. He got 23 with Rogers and six with Rosenthal.
Sweat and Ross, the No. 11 seed who beat three German pairs in a row, lost to top-seeded Talita Antunes and Larissa Franca of Brazil 21-16, 21-14.
“First in Fort Lauderdale, but fifth in Rio and now gold again,” said Talita, who will also split $10,000. ”We are so happy to get this gold after not doing so well in Rio. We had a tough week in Moscow. It was really cold. But we did the best we could in this ‘Russian summer.’ ”
Summer and Sweat, playing in only their second FIVB World Tour event after placing fourth in Fort Lauderdale, split $8,000. Neither player had previously finished higher than ninth in Moscow.
“For this being only our second tournament together, I’m really proud of how we finished”, said Sweat. “It would have been great to play our best in the finals but we had a really really good day on Friday.
“We won all 3 elimination matches and played some really smooth volleyball. We need to work on being more consistent throughout the entire tournament. I’m excited to keep getting better and competing with Summer!”
Bronze medals went to Russians Oleg Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin and Brazilians Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa.
Stoyanovskiy and Artem Yarzutkin, the reigning Youth Olympic champions, defeated two-time FIVB World Tour champions and top-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins of Latvia 18-21, 21-14, 15-8.
The 20-year old Stoyanovskiy and 21-year old Yarzutkin who were seeded 15th, will share the $5,000 third-place prize.
“We are really proud that we won a medal, here in Moscow, in front of our home crowd,” Yarzutkin said. “That was such a great feeling. We are really, really happy. We didn’t expect winning anything here, because there were so many good teams, who are more experienced, competing here. Now we hope to compete in the world championships as well.”
Fourth-seeded Bednarczuk and Lisboa beat Germans Victoria Bieneck and Isabel Schneider for third place. The won the first set 21-14 and were leading the 19th seeds 13-8 in the second when Bieneck could not continue because of a leg injury.
Agatha and Duda have reached a FIVB podium in their first three World Tour events together. They finished second in Fort Lauderdale and won in Rio.
“We are very happy with this medal, because it was very hard for us in this tournament because we are Brazilian and the weather was terrible for us,” Agatha said. “This is our third medal already in three tournaments together. This is amazing, we are a new team, just started five months ago and Duda is very young.”
They also split $,5000.
The FIVB World Tour takes a week off before resuming play June 15-18 for a “three-star” $150,000 event in The Netherlands at The Hague.