Dalhausser Named Most Outstanding Player

Aug. 23, 2008, 1:59 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

Release courtesy of the FIVB.

BEIJING (Aug. 23, 2008) – After teaming with Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) to win the United States’ second beach volleyball gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was named the Most Outstanding Player for the men’s competition at Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground.

As the second-seeded tandem in the 24-team men’s field, Dalhausser and Rogers matched the efforts of Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.)  a day earlier by defeating fourth-seeded Marcio Araujo and Fabio of Brazil 23-21, 17-21 and 15-4 in Friday’s 67-minute men’s gold-medal match.

May-Treanor, who was named the women’ s Most Outstanding Player for the Chaoyang Park competition, and Walsh won the women’s gold medal for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by defeating Thursday top-seeded Jia Tian and Jie Wang of China 21-18 and 21-18.  It was the Americans second Summer Games title after winning the Athens gold medal by beating Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede.

The two beach volleyball gold medals for the same country in the same Olympics is a first. The two Americans teams also claimed the top podium spots at last year’s SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in Switzerland, but Brazilians had already managed that feat twice in 1997 in Los Angeles and 1999 in Marseille, France.

The United States is now 2-0 against Brazil in Olympic gold medal matches as Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana upset Ze Marco de Melo and Ricardo Santos for the Sydney 2000 title.  At the inaugural men’s Olympic Beach Volleyball competition in 1996 at Atlanta, Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes won the all-American gold medal finale by defeating Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh.

The 6-foot, nine-inch (206 cm) Dalhausser ended the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games competition as the top blocker (42), including nine in the gold medal match. Three of the title blocks were posted in the third and deciding set as the Americans scored three-straight points due to Dalhausser’s effort to give his team a 9-1 lead.

"I'm on cloud nine, I guess," said Dalhausser after the gold medal match.  "It's the best feeling I've ever had in my life.  I got in a zone. I was on a roll. I saw the ball and put my hand on it, and that's it."

Rogers, who was named the Most Outstanding Player when he and Dalhausser captured the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships, called his partner "a freak of nature. He can do everything the sport demands. A lot of 6-9 guys can hit the snot out of the ball. But they can't set like he does or have the great hands and skills he does."

Emanuel Rego, who won the Athens 2004 Olympic gold medal and captured the Beijing bronze with Ricardo, called Dalhausser “a wall. He is changing the way people see the sport. Before, it was about defense. Now, it is about blocking."

The Beijing honor is not the first-time he has been recognized internationally for his play. Dalhausser, who played in his first FIVB event following the 2004 Olympic Games, was named the SWATCH FIVB World Tour best blocker in 2006 and 2007, the best hitter in 2007 and the most improved player in 2006.

Dalhausser and Rogers have now won four international gold medals this season and six overall.  The pair now has eight-straight “final four” finishes on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour. Entering the Olympic, the Americans had won 21-straight FIVB matches with Grand Slam titles in Paris, Stavanger and Moscow.