Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 - Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena avenged two setbacks to Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen in the last month at FIVB World Tour stops in Croatia and Switzerland here Tuesday morning as the Americans gained control of Pool C by defeating their Mexican rivals.
Competing in the same group with pairs from Italy and Tunisia, Dalhausser and Lucena scored a 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) win in 44 minutes over Ontiveros and Virgen, the 2015 PanAmerican champions. The American victory evened the series with the Mexicans at 2-2.
Ontiveros and Virgen, who upset Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy in their first Rio match Sunday, only led twice in the match with the Americans with both advantages coming on the first serve of each set. Virgen blocked Lucena in the opening set and gave Mexico a 1-0 lead before the Americans broke from a 3-3 tie to take an 8-4 lead.
With Ontiveros scoring the first point of the second set, Dalhausser and Lucena led 11-10 at the technical time out and returned to the court to take a 15-10 lead. The Mexicans cut the advantage to 18-17, but Dalhausser sandwiched two successful attacks between an opponent miscue.
Dalhausser and Lucena, who opened Rio play by defeating Choaib Belhaj and Mohamed Naceur of Tunisia 2-0 (21-7, 21-13) in 30 minutes Sunday, meet Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy Thursday. Ontiveros and Virgen end group action against the Tunisians, who played Lupo and Nicolai later Tuesday.