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Sandy Hooper and Michelle Hanks, USA TODAY
TOKYO – U.S. beach volleyball duo Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena defeated their Brazilian opponents in their second pool play match, after which Dalhausser spoke about being forced to serve a quarantine in a hotel room before competition began.
The Americans toppled Rio Olympic gold medalist Alison Cerutti, and his teammate since 2019, Alvaro Morais Filho, 2-1 (24-22, 19-21, 15-13) at a rainy and windy Shiokaze Park on Tuesday.
“You know, we were better than them by two points, Dalhausser said. “I think it was only a two-point difference in the whole match. That’s a team that’s gonna contend for a medal and to win this tournament, so to get a win off of them was special.
“We’ll take it,” he added. “Especially with the stuff we’ve been dealing with, the adversity and like not really being able to train against a team. Me being quarantined, sitting in the hotel room for five days isn’t exactly ideal when you’re about to play in the Olympics.”
Dalhausser had been in quarantine since July 17, USA TODAY Sports confirmed with USA Volleyball after Tuesday’s match. He was originally told at the airport that he’d have to serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine since he was sitting in front of Taylor Crabb, his USA Volleyball teammate who tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from the Tokyo Olympics, on a flight to San Francisco en route to the Games.
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Dalhausser revealed he and Lucena were finally able to practice last Wednesday, July 21, at 10 p.m. local time.
“The worst part about it (quarantine) was not knowing when we were going to be able to train,” he said. “We were supposed to train on Monday – they said no. Tuesday – they said no. And then finally Wednesday we got the OK.”
Asked what he has been doing to prepare for Olympic competition in his hotel room, Dalhausser said: “Watching a lot of video. There’s only so much you can do in the room to work out. I took box of water bottles, I put all my books on there and I was using that for a weight. So you gotta get a little creative.”
Originally at a hotel with a small room that he described as “not pretty,” Dalhausser was relocated by Team USA officials.
“I’m very grateful to be part of Team USA because the first three days I was at a hotel that was not pretty,” he said. “The food was not great. And then Team USA busted me out of there and brought me to the Hilton. Now I’m in a good situation, but the first three days were tough.”
Dalhausser’s teammate, Lucena, joked: “Oh, this guy has a person that he rings a bell and …”
The Americans are 1-1 in pool play, after an opening loss Saturday against the Neatherlands. They’ll be back on the court Thursday at 11 a.m. local time to face Argentina’s Nicolas Capogrosso and Julian Amado Azaad.