Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 30, 2015 – Nick Lucena and Theodore Brunner matched the achievement of their fellow Americans John Mayer and Ryan Doherty by topping their pool in Amsterdam after wrapping up a third win from three at the Netherlands 2015, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships on Tuesday.
Lucena and Brunner faced a tough challenge against Russia’s Konstantin Semenov and Viacheslav Krasilnikov, but fought hard in the first set and then ran away in the second to win 2-0 (23-21, 21-13).
“We wanted to stay here,” Lucena said. “It would have been tough to pack all our stuff and find out where we were going next.
“Our first goal was to win our pool, but Russia are a great team, they are super young and super talented, but like Theo said we struggled in the first game but did well enough to steal it and the second one we played a little better. We’re pretty pumped.”
The clash at the net between the 201cm Brunner and 208cm Semenov was particularly crucial and Lucena and Brunner tweaked their attack so that they could find a way past Semenov’s block.
“I’m not used to jumping my highest and still having someone higher than me, so it was tough,” Brunner admitted.
Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos also finished in first place in Amsterdam and impressed against in-form Spaniards Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira.
The 2003 world champions started with a bang against a side who recently won their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal and didn’t let up until the win was secured.
“This was one of those matches where you have to give it your all to win,” Emanuel said. “I saw that the Spaniards have been playing really, really consistently and they always come back in a match and that is why Ricardo and I pushed so hard to win the match.
“We are comfortable here and the crowd have been supporting us and we have a good feeling here. Tomorrow is another step and every match is now like a final.”