There's no doubt beach partnerships are tricky things to manage, and finding that perfect chemistry can be difficult, but event still, a mid-season partner-swap is a rare thing.
Olympic Champion Phil Dalhausser is parting ways with Sean Rosenthal to partner with Nick Lucena, while Rosenthal will partner with Nick's former partner Theo Brunner.
Dalhausser and Rosenthal won six FIVB events and finished in the Top Four nine times in 21 tournaments together. "When we weren't injured, we were the best team in the world" said Rosenthal in a press conference yesterday. Both players have dealt with injuries in their three seasons together, most recently an oblique tear suffered by Dalhausser in the first event of the season.
Lucena and Brunner's partnership only lasted one year, highlighted by a bronze at the St. Petersburg Grand Slam in Lucena's home state, following that up with a fourth-place finish at the FIVB World Championships in The Netherlands.
Dalhausser and Lucena are re-newing a partnership over a decade old. The pair broke into the AVP together all the way back in 2003, wining their first event in 2005, the same year they played their first FIVB together. Since then, their careers have gone in much different directions.
As Dalhausser said in his press conference yesterday, "Nick plays a real similar game to my old partner Todd (Rogers)[...] So I don't think we'll have a problem."
The teams have a few weeks off before the FIVB's next event, the World Series of Beach Volleyball (or the Long Beach Grand Slam), August 18th-23rd. They will, however, have two opportunities on the AVP Tour, at the Seattle Open August 7th-9th and the historic Manhattan Beach Open August 14th-16th. Those two events could get real interesting as a meeting is highly likely.
To read more on the subject, check out Rebulls article here.