B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
The FIVB contributed to this release
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 22, 2012) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers defeated compatriots Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena on Sunday to win the gold medal at the Brasilia Open in Brazil, the opening event of the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
The top-ranked Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) defeated Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.), seeded fourth, 21-17, 21-18 in 44 minutes.
Rogers and Dalhausser will split $30,000 while Fuerbringer and Lucena will share $21,000. It was the third straight Brasilia Open victory for Dalhausser and Rogers.
“We love to play in Brazil. We love playing Americans and we love winning in Brazil and it certainly showed this week,” Rogers said in an FIVB release. “We had a tough week, especially losing in the second round and having to come back in our first tournament of the year and me coming off a serious knee injury. In the second set I was tired and made a couple of mistakes and they got back in the game.
“We know Matt and Nick so well we have a lot more rallies than against most opponents, but I can say any questions I had about our off time from the tour are gone.”
It was the 13th time in the history of the FIVB SWATCH World Tour that two teams from the United States have met in the gold medal match. The last time was July 24, 2011 in Quebec, Canada when Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Fuerbringer and Lucena. It was also only the fourth time in 34 FIVB events held in Brazil and first since 1991 that there was an all-USA gold medal match.
"Unfortunately, we committed more errors in the match than Phil and Todd,” Lucena said. “They're very strong opponents and they kept the pressure on our side the entire match. But this silver medal is very important for us because of the qualifying for the Olympic Games.”
After losing in the second round on Thursday, Dalhausser and Rogers have won seven straight matches to finish the Brasília Open with an 8-1 record. Fuerbringer and Lucena lost in the third round on Friday and ended with a 6-2 record in the tournament. On the FIVB SWATCH World Tour, Dalhausser and Rogers now have a 6-1 record against Fuerbringer and Lucena. This was the third time the two teams have met in a FIVB gold medal match and Dalhausser and Rogers have won all three.
Dalhausser and Rogers, the 2008 Olympic champions, were playing in their 50th FIVB SWATCH World Tour event as a team and made it to their 39th final four. They have now played in 29 gold medal matches and have earned a gold medal in 22 of them.
USA’s Fuerbringer and Lucena have played in 24 World Tour events as a team and have made it to their fifth final four without a gold medal; but they do have two silver medals as a tandem
On Sunday, Dalhausser set the tone early by blocking Lucena’s kill attempt in the first set and the only tie was a 1-1 as Dalhausser and Rogers made few errors and scored on several blocks and cut shots by both players. Fuerbringer and Lucena did mount a rally to close to 13-15, but the Olympic champions pulled away from there to win the set that ended a serve by Lucena that went long.
The second set was closer in a set of runs. The score was tied at 6-6 when Dalhausser and Rogers ran off three straight points, only to see Fuerbringer and Lucena come back with two points of their own. The last tie in the set was at 12-12, when Dalhausser had another of his massive blocks followed by a Rogers poke cut shot for a point and they rallied for four points. After several long rallies that seemed to wear on both teams in the heat, Dalhausser and Rogers led 20-16 before another run by Fuerbringer and Lucena closed it to 20-18. The set and match ended when Lucena’s serve went long
Brazil’s third-seeded Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha took the bronze medal with a 21-18, 21-14 win over Spain’s fifth-seeded Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera, 21-18, 21-14 in 39 minutes.