SANDCAST: Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena all in for Tokyo 2020

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Phil Dalhausser-Nick Lucena-SANDCAST
Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena celebrate their comeback AVP Manhattan Beach win/Ed Chan, VBshots.com

To be honest, the sound bye you’re looking for in this podcast comes around the three-minute mark. You can even fast forward there if you’d like.

Tri Bourne, taking SANDCAST: Beach Volleyball with Tri Bourne and Travis Mewhirter on the road for a training camp in Florida, asks Phil Dalhausser and his coach, Jason Lochhead if they are all in for the upcoming quad.

“Yep.”

“Yep.”

Two words. All you need to know. Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are making the two-year push for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Over the past few months, as it goes with beach volleyball — or anything, for that matter — there has been no shortage of speculation in regards to the career plans of Dalhausser and Lucena. Rumors of retirement. Rumors of partner switching. Rumors of possibly going for Tokyo.

All of those rumors, dispelled with a simple “yep.”

“It’s going to be quite a battle this time around,” said Bourne, who narrowly missed qualifying for the 2016 Olympics with John Hyden, edged out by Dalhausser and Lucena and Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb.

With Dalhausser and Lucena confirming their intentions for the upcoming Olympic race, a battle is exactly what it will be. Dalhausser and Lucena will be slotted as the unquestioned favorites, followed by Gibb and Taylor Crabb and then a mess of three to six teams – Bourne and Trevor Crabb, Billy Allen and Stafford Slick, Reid Priddy and Theo Brunner, Ryan Doherty and John Hyden, Miles Evans and Billy Kolinske, Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger – all of whom could reasonably make an international push.

Which makes the preseason work all that more important. After the Fort Lauderdale Major was cancelled, Bourne and Crabb simply kept their tickets and decided to train with Dalhausser and Lucena, hence the Florida-based podcast and a week of two-a-day practices and Brazilian BBQ with coach Jose Loiola and the girls team, Sara Hughes and Summer Ross, at night.

“Jose saw we had a big break after Fort Lauderdale got canceled so he wanted to get us out of California and switch it up,” Crabb said. “It’s a good idea. You get, over and over again practicing the same thing for two months straight in California is a little much. Especially when you get the opportunity to train against Phil and Nick, one of the best teams in the world, it’s good.”

Bourne and Crabb are still experimenting with their approach to an Olympic quad. They’re trying out a new system – split-blocking – new sides, new offenses, new everything. For Dalhausser and Lucena, who have a combined four Olympics between them, while Lucena had a narrow miss in 2012, this is nothing new.

“When I come in, it’s not like I tell you what to do,” said Lochhead, who coached Canada in the 2016 Olympic Games. “It’s, ‘We have three minds, let’s check out ideas and what things are going to be the best.’ It won’t work if I just come home and tell them what to do. They have a ton of experience. They know what’s going on. I always think, if you tell someone what to do, in their mind, it’s hard for them to really do it because they don’t truly believe it but if you talk it out with them and hear their thoughts and hear their ideas it almost becomes their idea and their thought then they truly believe it and go 100 percent at it.”

For one final Olympics, Dalhausser and Lucena are 100 percent in.

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