Alison Cerutti

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WATCH LIVE: Mighty men’s match in beach volleyball as USA faces Brazil

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The men’s beach volleyball quarterfinals begin Monday, with a high-powered match kicking things off.

American duo Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena will meet No. 1 ranked pairing Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil earlier than they would’ve liked thanks to the latter’s surprising second-place finish in Group A.

The winner will get the victor of the following match, which pits the seeded Netherlands teams against each other.

WATCH LIVE

3 p.m. EDT – Game 1 – Dalhausser/Lucena (USA) vs. Alison/Bruno (BRA)

4 p.m. EDT – Game 2 – Nummerdor/Varenhorst (NED) vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen (NED)

10 p.m. EDT – Game 3 – Nicolai/Lupo (ITA) vs. Liamin/Barsuk (RUS)

11 p.m. EDT – Game 4 – Krasilnikov/Semenov (RUS) vs. Diaz Gomez/Gonzalez Bayard (CUB)

Beach bedlam: Austrian volleyball teams upset Brazil, Team USA duos

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Wow, beach volleyball. Wow.

The top-seeded Brazilian pairing of Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt lost in pool play on Monday at the Rio Olympics. So did American No. 2 pairing Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson.

For those upsets to happen alone are one thing, but to happen together at the hands of one country is a headline grabber.

Austria’s Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst stunned Alison and Bruno 21-23, 21-16, 13-15 on Monday, making waves in Rio.

Just a couple hours later, it was Austrian countrymen Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl who scored and upset, and they only needed two sets to dispatch Gibb and Patterson.

For the Americans, it’s onto a Pool F finale match Wednesday against Spain’s Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera.

Alison, Bruno rout Phil Dalhausser, Nick Lucena in FIVB World Tour Finals title match

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Brazil looks golden in beach volleyball, 10 months ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Brazilian pairs swept the FIVB World Tour Finals in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Sunday, capped by World champions Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt crushing 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena 21-13, 21-15 in a meeting of arguably the world’s two best teams.

“They are the No. 1 team in the world,” Lucena said. “We will get there.”

Earlier, Larissa and Talita beat Germans Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst 21-17, 21-18 in the women’s final. Larissa and Talita have won 11 of the 16 international tournaments they’ve played since teaming up in July 2014.

Perhaps more dominant are Alison, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist with the legendary Emanuel, and Schmidt, nephew of Olympic basketball all-time scoring leader Oscar Schmidt. They swept the three biggest tournament titles of 2015 — the World Tour Finals plus the World Championships in the Netherlands in July and the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, Calif., in August, during a stretch when they won all five FIVB World Tour events in those two months.

Brazil last earned an Olympic beach volleyball title in 2004, with Americans taking three of the four gold medals since. Volleyball, indoor and beach, is arguably the No. 2 sport in Brazil behind soccer, and the 2016 Olympic tournaments on Copacabana Beach will be highly anticipated.

Alison, an imposing 6-foot-8 figure nicknamed “Mammoth” with a matching tattoo, and Bruno also beat Dalhausser and Lucena in the World Series of Beach Volleyball final Aug. 23.

That tournament marked the American duo’s international return after Dalhausser and partner and two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal split. The Floridians Dalhausser, 35, and Lucena, 36, had previously played together through the 2005 season.

On Wednesday, Dalhausser and Lucena beat Alison and Bruno in three sets in pool play. The two pairs had played 209 points together over two matches going into Sunday’s final, with the Americans holding a 105-104 points won advantage.

“There is no rivalry yet,” Lucena said. “They are a good measuring stick for us. They show us where we need to be.”

Three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings missed the World Tour Finals after undergoing season-ending right shoulder surgery, while partner and Olympic silver medalist April Ross teamed with sub partner Lauren Fendrick and lost in the quarterfinals Friday.

The FIVB World Tour season continues with a tournament in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, this week.

NBCOlympics.com producer Seth Rubinroit contributed to this report from Fort Lauderdale.

MORE BEACH VOLLEYBALL: PHOTOS: Alison/Bruno, Dalhausser/Lucena play match on helipad