Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena have extended USA’s stay on Copacabana Beach, despite Italy’s best efforts.
Dalhausser and Lucena defeated Italy in a marathon of a match Thursday at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. With the win, USA clinched the top spot in Pool C of the preliminary round and a spot in the round of 16.
The countries split the first two sets, and Italy resisted courageously in the third frame, which was supposed to run to the 15-point mark. Dalhausser and Lucena couldn’t open the two-point advantage required to end the third set until the score reached 24-22, as Italy survived six match points before succumbing to defeat.
Dalhausser and Lucena finish pool play unbeaten and are Team USA’s only remaining representatives in the men’s beach volleyball competition.
Thumbnail photo via Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports Images