Stanford grad Matt Fuerbringer was part of beach volleyball history Sunday. It would have been nice if he and teammate Nick Lucena could brag about gold, but that honor goes to Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.
For the first time in the 23-year history of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the United States swept the top three spots, claiming gold, silver and bronze medals at the $280,000 FIVB Swatch Quebec Open in Canada.
Dalhausser and Rogers captured the gold medal while Fuerbringer and Lucena settled for the silver. Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal grabbed the bronze.
"The organization of this event in Quebec may just be the best ever first-time event in FIVB history," Rogers said in an FIVB release. "Phil and I are honored and humbled to also have been part of the first American sweep of an FIVB podium."
Dalhausser and Rodgers defeated Fuerbringer and Lucena, 23-21, 21-19 in 47 minutes in the 12th-ever all-American FIVB World Tour finals match. Dalhausser-Rodgers and Fuerbringer-Lucena met for the fifth time overall and just the second time in a gold-medal match.
"Phil's blocking, especially at the end of both sets is really what put us over the top and won the match for us," Rogers said. "Matt and Nick are a very good team and when they are on they can beat anyone in the world, just not this Sunday."
Dalhausser and Rodgers captured the gold medal in front of a sold out crowd of 5,000 and earned their 20th top finish in 26 championship matches.
Fuerbringer and Lucena earned their first medal of the season and second overall. The Quebec Open was the team's 18th career FIVB Swatch World Tour event.
The U.S. Junior National Team beat Korea, 25-23, 25-14, 25-23, Sunday to finish the first round of pool play in the FIVB Volleyball Women's Junior World Championships at the Gran Chimu Gymnasium in Trujillo, Peru.
Team USA (3-0) enters the second round, which begins Tuesday in Lima, and will play in a group that also includes host Peru, Italy and the Dominican Republic.
"After the match, we stuck around and watched some of the Peru-Slovakia match," Long Beach State's Haleigh Hampton wrote in a blog for the USA volleyball web site. "We sat amongst the fans and we were bombarded with fans wanting pictures and autographs. Volleyball is such a huge sport here. They have fans lining around the block just to get in the door."
Haley Eckerman paced the Americans with 16 points, while Kelly Reeves added 14 points. The United States, ranked second in the FIVB youth and junior world rankings, held a 10-2 block advantage and 10-7 margin in aces during the match.
The U.S. is looking to improve upon its best result in the championships, a fourth-place finish in 2007.
Serbia finished the London Volleyball International Invitational beat Mexico in straight sets at Earls Court on Sunday and took top spot on the podium ahead of Brazil and USA, which finished second and third, respectively.
After two hours and 12 minutes of closely contested Volleyball, and plenty of fluctuating fortunes, Brazil beat the USA, 25-21, 22-25, 25-27, 25-16, 18-16.