B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
BEIJING (Aug. 16, 2008) – It was Superman to the rescue on Saturday at the Olympic beach volleyball tournament as Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) came up with nine digs as he and partner Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) defeated Spain’s 12th-seeded Pablo Herrera and Raul Mesa, 26-24, 21-17, on Saturday at the Chaoyoang Park Beach Volleyball Ground.
Next up for Gibb and Rosenthal, ranked seventh, will be Brazil’s third-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos in the quarterfinals on Aug. 18.
“I honestly can’t say enough,” Gibb said of Rosenthal, who is also known as Superman. “That was the best performance I’ve ever seen by my partner.”
Rosenthal threw his body all over the sand to dig up the balls Herrera and Mesa sent down.
“I don’t know how he does the stuff he does out there.” Gibb said.
Besides the nine digs, Rosenthal finished the match with 16 kills. Gibb had 19 kills, four blocks and one ace.
The first set was marked by long rallies and the score stayed close throughout. The one time Spain did take a significant lead, at 17-14, the U.S. team scored three straight points to tie it up again.
Gibb and Rosenthal reached set point first at 21-20, but a Mesa kill tied it up again.
Gibb and Rosenthal reached set point three more times, but each time they failed to put away the Spaniards.
Finally, with the score tied 24-24, Gibb and Rosenthal scored a point on Mesa’s serving error. On the final play of the set, a Gibb kill won the match for the United States.
The second set was close until it was tied 13-13. Gibb and Rosenthal scored three points in a row on two kills by Gibb and one by Rosenthal. Spain never recovered.
Aug. 10: Gibb/Rosenthal USA  def. Boersma E./Ronnes NED , 2-0 (21-16, 21-15) 0:37
Aug. 12: Gibb/Rosenthal  def. Brink/Dieckmann GER , 2-0 (21-15, 21-13)
Aug. 14: Gibb/Rosenthal USA  def. Asahi/Shiratori JPN , 2-1 (21-15, 19-21, 18-16) 0:57
Round of 16
Gibb-Rosenthal USA  def. Herrera-Mesa ESP  2-0 (26-24, 21-17) 0:53