Men’s beach volleyball semifinal field set as U.S. exits early, Cuban streak ends

Brazilians best U.S. men
Top-seeded Brazilian men Alison and Bruno Schmidt beat USA’s Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 21-14, 12-21, 15-9 to advance to the men’s beach volleyball semifinals. The highly anticipated matchup seemed destined to come in the Gold Medal Match but came two rounds early after Brazil dropped a match during preliminary play. Alison and Bruno Schmidt will face Brouwer/Meeuwsen of the Netherlands in the men’s semifinals on Aug. 16.

Brouwer, Meeuwsen advance after double Dutch face off in beach quarterfinals
The Netherland’s Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen swept compatriots Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst 25-23, 21-17 to advance to the semifinals of the men’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament. Second-seeded Brouwer/Meeuwsen will battle Brazil’s Bruno Schmidt and Alison in the men’s semifinals. 

Italians oust Russians in three-set showdown
Tenth-seeded Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai edged out Russia’s Liamin/Barsuk 21-18, 20-22, 15-11 to advance to the men’s beach volleyball semifinals. Lupo and Nicolai famously topped Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers in the Round of 16 at the London Games. Italy’s advancement to the semifinals marks the first time an Italian team, men’s or women’s, have secured an Olympic beach volleyball semifinal berth. 

Cuban streak ends
Cuba’s Diaz/Gonzalez entered the Rio Olympic beach volleyball tournament as a relatively unknown and low-seeded team. However, the duo made quick work of their opponents, exiting the preliminary round at the top of Pool D. Russia’s Semenov/Krasilnikov ended the Cuban winning streak in a stunning three-set match, winning 22-20, 22-24, 18-16 and securing their spot in the men’s semifinals. The Russian men will face Italy’s Nicolai/Lupo.