Dalhausser, Rogers Headed for Gold-Medal Match

Aug. 20, 2008, 1:02 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org

BEIJING (Aug. 20, 2008) – Two days after Georgia’s Jorge "Gia" Terceiro climbed to the top of the stands of the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball venue in an imitation of Rocky, the U.S. team of Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) had him down for the count.

Second-seeded Dalhausser and Rogers needed just 42 minutes to defeat 15th-ranked Gia and partner Renato "Geor" Gomes, 21-11, 21-13 on Wednesday to advance to the Olympic gold-medal match, which will be played Friday, Aug. 22.

The team they will play for gold was also somewhat of a surprise, as Brazil’s No. 4-ranked team of Marcio Araujo and Fábio Luiz Magalhães upset the defending Olympic champions, Brazil’s No. 3-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, 21-11, 21-13 in the second semifinal.

Dalhausser and Rogers are 2-5 against Marcio and Fabio since 2006. The teams have only played once in 2008, with Dalhausser and Rogers winning 21-18, 21-15 at the SWATCH FIVB Grand Slam event in Moscow.

Geor and Gia will play Rego and Santos for the bronze medal.

Although Dalhausser and Rogers always come across as relaxed and laid back, Dalhausser admitted he didn’t feel that way before Wednesday’s match.

“This is probably the first beach volleyball match I’ve been nervous in before the match actually started,” Dalhausser said. “Probably because if we lost I would have been devastated.”

“I didn’t realize he was nervous at all,” Rogers said. “If that’s how he plays when he’s nervous, I hope he’s nervous as hell before the next match.”

Dalhausser and Rogers felt they put together their most complete match so far at the Olympics in defeating Geor and Gia. Rogers had 18 kills and 14 digs. Dalhausser scored on nine kills, nine blocks and three aces.

Geor and Gia finished with a total of 12 kills, two blocks and three digs.

Things looked bleak for the Georgians (who are Brazilian expatriates) from the beginning as Dalhausser and Rogers took an 8-1 lead in the first set and extended it to 12-2.

Geor and Gia were never able to score more than one point in a row and eventually fell 21-11.

In the second set, Dalhausser and Rogers took an 11-3 lead and were never threatened; although when trailing 8-17, the Georgian team did put together a 4-1 streak to make it 12-18. But a Georgian team error and Dalhausser block brought on match point and Dalhausser’s final kill gave the United States the victory.

When asked about how it felt to make it to the gold-medal match, Dalhausser said: “It hasn’t hit me yet. Give me a couple hours and it will smack me in the face.’

Rogers was already looking ahead: ‘It’s fantastic to get there, but in reality the final goal is to get the gold medal.”

The men’s FIVB finale will mark the 40th gold-medal match between the two countries with Brazil leading 23-16. One of the American wins was at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana scored a 12-11 and 12-9 victory over Ze Marco de Melo and Ricardo in a 101-minute match on Bondi Beach.

Playing full-time together since the 2006 season, Dalhausser and Rogers have compiled five FIVB titles in 20 events. The Americans, who entered the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games with 21-straight FIVB wins after collecting Grand Slam titles in Paris, Stavanger (Norway) and Moscow, were upset in their first pool play match by a team from Latvia at Chaoyang Park, but have rebounded with four-straight victories.

Schedule and Results

Pool Play
Aug. 9: Samoilovs/Plavins LAT [23] def. Rogers/Dalhausser USA [2], 2-0 (21-19, 21-18), 0:49
Aug. 11: Rogers/Dalhausser USA [2] def. Heyer/Heuscher SUI [11], 2-0 (21-15, 21-10), 0:41
Aug. 13: Rogers/Dalhausser USA [2] def. Conde/Baracetti ARG [14], 21-12, 21-13

Round of 16
Aug. 16: Rogers/Dalhausser USA [2] def. Laciga M./Schnider SUI [20] 2-1 (21-16, 21-23, 15-13) 1:02

Aug. 18: Rogers/Dalhausser [2] def. Klemperer/Koreng GER [5], 2-0 (21-13, 25-23) 0:55

Rogers-Dalhausser USA [2] def. Geor-Gia GEO [15], 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) 0:41