Big names face off for Rio 2016 semi spot

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 14, 2016 – Phil Dalhausser and Alison Cerutti - two of the biggest names and two of the biggest frames - in beach volleyball will clash across the net in the first of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games men’s quarterfinals at Copacabana Beach Arena on Monday. 

Both are highly decorated; Dalhausser won Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and was world champion in 2007. Alison won silver at London 2012 and has twice won the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, in 2011 and 2015. 

They are also two of the physically biggest players at Rio 2016 and like to dominate the net. Dalhausser stands 2.06 m (6'9”) tall, just a touch above the 2.03 m (6'8") Alison Cerutti, who definitely holds the weight advantage of 110kg (242llb) to Dalhausser’s 90kg (198llb).

Both are paired with a scurrying, athletic and agile defensive player. Nick Lucena has only played with Dalhausser since the latter part of 2015, but in that time they have won five FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour titles together. 

Alison and Bruno Schmidt are number one seeds, won the 2015 World Championships together and most recently won the Porec Major Series tournament at the start of July before they returned to Brazil to begin their preparations for Rio 2016. 

Once they have finished two Dutch teams will go head to head for domestic bragging rights as well as a place in the semifinals. 

Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen went through their pool unbeaten and will now play compatriots Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, who finished second in their pool. 

Nummerdor is the only one of the three to have played in an Olympic Games, having featured at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. While he and Varenhorst won silver at the 2015 World Championships, it is Brouwer and Meeuwsen who know what it takes to triumph at a major title after they won the 2013 World Championships. 

Russia’s Nikita Liamin and Dmitri Barsuk take on Italy’s Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai in the third quarterfinal. 

The Russians have proven to be one of the most obdurate teams in the tournament and they ended the hopes of Rio natives Pedro Salgado and Evandro Goncalves in the round of 16. 

Lupo and Nicolai survived a lucky loser match, but made it three wins in a row at Rio 2016 when they subsequently knocked out fellow Italians Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula. 

The Italians reached the London 2012 quarterfinals, though they will have to be at their best if they want to improve on that result at Rio 2016.

Another Russian team is also in action in the final match of the round. Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov take on the Rio 2016 surprise package of Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez. 

The Cubans do not compete on the World Tour, but beat three opponents who do and they then continued their remarkable run by defeating another highly experienced team in Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst in the round of 16. 

Quick links - Beach volleyball:
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball Results/Schedule
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball - Teams - Men
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball - Teams - Women
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball - Media Guide
Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Beach Volleyball history


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