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Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser and the rest of the U.S. team were in Rio last week for an Olympic test event against Brazil. He shares his takeaways from the trip with ESPN.com:

Last week, the top four U.S. men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams played against the top four Brazilian teams on one of the most iconic beaches in the world, Copacabana Beach.

Brazil and USA Volleyball have an intense rivalry, it’s like the Duke-North Carolina or Yankees-Red Sox match-up of our sport. The last time we had an event like this was in 2009 in Arizona, where the U.S. beat the Brazilians in a very tight contest. This week was a different story — we got smashed! We won 11 out of 36 matches. I am not one to make excuses, especially in volleyball, but I am going to be a huge hypocrite and give you some reasons or excuses (however you want to look at it) as to why we got beat:

 

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Photo cred: AP, Marc Serota

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