26.07.2020 - Vienna, Austria
Phil Dalhausser’s beach volleyball career has reached legendary status long ago, but it added an important milestone this weekend when the 40-year-old American secured his 100th professional title with a victory at the second AVP event in the 2020 season.
“The Thin Beast” and longtime partner Nick Lucena secured their second AVP title in as many weeks in Long Beach with an impressive 21-9, 21-15 victory over Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb.
“It didn’t really sink in, to be honest,” Phil said about the milestone. “I’m really grateful to be playing this sport for so long and to have now 100 wins, it’s really cool. I always pictured to end my career with Nick and it’s nice to accomplish this with him. It’s always one point at a time and one tournament at a time for me because if you think about something else, you’ll lose your focus and that’s how I approached this tournament too.”
The trophy will join the massive collection of silverware Phil has won during 17 years of career, which includes the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the title at the 2007 World Championships, 58 other triumphs at the AVP and one at the National Volleyball League, 38 at the World Tour and one victory at the NORCECA Tour.
Four of these triumphs happened at the Beach Major Series as Phil won the 2016 Hamburg Major, the 2017 Gstaad Major, the 2017 World Tour Finals in Hamburg and the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Major with Nick.
The teams of Tri Bourne/Trevor Crabb and Casey Patterson/Theo Brunner made it to the semifinals and split the third-place in the tournament.
A-Team also gets back-to-back titles
The women’s tournament in Long Beach also had the same winners of the season-opening event as Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman secured the trophy for the second consecutive week.
The silver medalists of last year’s World Championships have now won nine of the 14 AVP they played at together. For the second time, they defeated reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, this time with a 21-15, 21-19 victory.
“They’re certainly one of the best teams in the world and it’s great that we get to play them pretty much every weekend,” April reacted. “They’re just as competitive as we are and I feel like this is a matchup that could happen in the final of any international tournament. It’s USA x Canada, there’s that pride and that desire to win, so it’s always nice.”
Like the A-Team, American Sara Hughes and Canadian Brandie Wilkerson also repeated last week, finishing third for the second-straight time, and were joined by veterans Emily Day and Lauren Fendrick, who started in the qualifier.
The AVP season will conclude next weekend with the third and final event played in Long Beach.