Who is... Nick Lucena - WSMV News 4

Who is... Nick Lucena

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Nick Lucena is making his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games alongside two-time Olympian Phil Dalhausser. While the two began their campaign to qualify for the Olympics in the 2015 season, their partnership began over 10 years ago. When Dalhausser made his professional beach volleyball debut, he called on Lucena to join him in the sand. The pair split in 2005 to form new partnerships but reunited in 2015. They enter the Games as the third seed and top-ranked U.S. men’s team. 

Sport beginnings

Nick Lucena made his professional beach volleyball debut on the Beach Volleyball America tour in 2001 with Jason Aucoin, according to BVBinfo. In 2003, he made his first appearance on the AVP tour alongside Phil Dalhausser.

Breakout moment

Dalhausser and Lucena made waves at the 2004 AVP Hermosa Beach Open when they upset top-seeded Mike Lambert and Olympic gold medalist Karch Kiraly. Dalhausser and Lucena finished third. 

Major competitions/medals

2016 FIVB Hamburg Major Series - 1st (Phil Dalhausser)

2015 FIVB World Championships - 4th (Theo Brunner)

2015 AVP Manhattan Beach Open - 1st (Phil Dalhausser)

2013 AVP Huntington Beach Open - 1st (Theo Brunner)

Records held

2015 USA Men’s Beach Volleyball Player of the Year

2015 USA Beach Volleyball Men’s Team of the Year (Phil Dalhausser)

2014 AVP Defensive Player of the Year

Off the sand

Nick Lucena graduated from Florida State University with a degree in sports management. His wife, former professional beach volleyball player Brooke Niles, currently serves as head coach of the beach volleyball program at FSU. The two have a son, Gunnar. 

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