The latest Americans to score a big beach volleyball boost: Nicholas Lucena and Phil Dalhausser, whose 21-19, 18-21, 15-6 victory over Argentina secured the duo a spot in the Round of 16.
Stakes were high ahead of this match, as Lucena/Dalhausser lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in their opener -- meaning the team would have to win to stay in the tournament. Fortunately, the Americans had beaten their Argentine opponents, Julian Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso, in all of three prior occasions.
The first set was neck-and-neck, but a spike on set point #3 provided the Americans an advantage. Argentina opened with an 8-4 lead in the second set, but while Lucena/Dalhausser tightened the gap, Azaad/Capogrosso took the set. In the third, Team USA spiked and blocked their way to a huge lead -- and ultimately victory.
Lucena and Dalhausser aren't the only American men to reach the Round of 16: Jake Gibb and Tri Bourne have also secured a spot, even ahead of their preliminary match against Qatar.