COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2012) – The U.S. Olympic Men’s Beach Volleyball Teams of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal along with Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers both advanced to the semifinals of the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland, on Saturday and could play each other in Sunday’s final.
The event is the final grand slam on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour.
Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who are the defending champions of the event and seeded No. 4, defeated local favorites and 2011 tournament silver medalists Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek in Saturday’s third round, 21-19, 19-21, 15-10 in 55 minutes to advance.
“They played it like a final. They hit the ball well, had great defense and served the ball well,” Rogers said in an FIVB press release. “I thought it was a fun match to play. I love playing here. This is our third year we’ve been here and we always enjoy it.”
Their win sets up a semifinal against Latvia’s Olympic bronze medalists Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins (No. 12), who knocked out Olympic silver medalists and FIVB world champions Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti of Brazil, who were the tournament’s top seeds.
Plavins and Smedins was the team that knocked Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) out of the 2012 Olympic tournament in London in the second round.
“Those guys are on fire,” Rogers said. “Latvia has been a thorn in our side at times. It should be a good game. Plavins is digging a lot of balls right now and I think it will be very similar to our match with Poland.”
Gibb and Rosenthal will face Austria’s No. 25 Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst in the other semifinal. Gibb and Rosenthal advanced by defeating the U.S. team of Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in the third round, 21-12, 21-19 in 34 minutes.
Fuerbringer and Lucena finished the tournament in fifth place.
In Saturday’s second round, Fuerbringer and Lucena beat Poland’s Bartosz Losiak and Piotr Kantor (No. 21), 21-15, 21-13 in 34 minutes. Gibb and Rosenthal defeated Norway’s No. 23 Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun, 21-13, 21-13 in 35 minutes. Dalhausser and Rogers topped Norway’s No. 19 Tarjei Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr, 24-22, 16-21, 15-13 in 1 hour, 7 minutes.
The Mazury Orlen Grand Slam is the ninth of nine mixed-gender tournaments on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour and the final men’s tournament of the year. The winning side will leave with the largest share from a pot of $300,000 per gender.
For complete information on the 2012 FIVB SWATCH World Tour, visit their web site.