Dalhausser Repeats as Beach Male Athlete of Year

Dec. 20, 2011, 6:12 p.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 20, 2011) – For the fourth year in a row, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) has been named the USA Volleyball Beach Male Athlete of the Year.

Dalhausser and partner Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), the 2008 Olympic gold medalists, finished 2011 as the top-ranked players in the USAV Beach Player Rankings. The pair finished second in the FIVB Swatch World Tour rankings and are the top-ranked team overall in the FIVB Olympic Qualification Rankings, which will determine which two men’s teams the U.S. will send to the 2012 Summer Games in London.

Dalhausser and Rogers finished the season with medals in nine out of 12 FIVB events, including four gold medals. Dalhausser was named the Most Outstanding Player of all four tournaments that the U.S. team won. In its postseason awards, the FIVB named Dalhausser its Best Setter for the third straight year.

In winning their first two tournaments of the 2011 season, Dalhausser and Rogers established a new FIVB record for consecutive match wins (40 straight until the gold medal match in Prague on May 22).

Dalhausser called the record a bright spot of the season.

“That was the biggest highlight of the year,” Dalhausser said. “Also, winning in Poland, in Stare Jablonki, because we both were kind of banged up. To come back from those injuries and win a Grand Slam was a pretty big highlight.”

Dalhausser suffered a severely sprained ankle at the Beijing Grand Slam, but continued to play through the pain to compete the next weekend at the FIVB World Championships in Rome.

“We didn’t really have any time (to rest). The next weekend was World Championship,” Dalhausser said. “After about a month and a half I found myself back to 100 percent.”

In fact, Dalhausser and Rogers medaled in their last six World Tour events of the season until Rogers suffered a knee injury during the gold medal match in Aland, Finland, forcing the team to forfeit the match and end its season early.

“I was a little disappointed because I felt like we were playing well again,” Dalhausser said. “Once I found out Todd’s injury wasn’t that major, I was cool with (ending the season early).”

After the international season, Dalhausser won the National Volleyball League (NVL) event Miami with Nick Lucena while Rogers was rehabbing a knee injury.

Dalhausser primary goal for 2012 is to repeat as Olympic gold medal champion. He feels his playing has improved since the 2008 gold medal victory.

“I’m a little smarter. Over the year I’ve picked up on things that have helped my game,” Dalhausser said. “Things like passing, moving lower and moving my feet. I’ve been a lazy passer, but in the past year I’ve cleaned that up.”

Dalhausser said he and Rogers are planning to play in most of the 2012 FIVB World Tour events leading up to the London Games.

“We don’t want to take too much time off because then we’ll be rusty,” Dalhausser said. “Practice isn’t the same as tournament play. You can practice as much as you want. It will get you ready to a point, but not 100 percent.”