COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 8, 2012) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal won its second FIVB World Tour event in a row on Sunday at the Gstaad Grand Slam and completed the United States’ sweep of the event.
The No. 3-seeded Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) defeated Brazil’s second-seeded Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego in Sunday’s gold-medal match, 21-17, 21-17 in 38 minutes. Gibb and Rosenthal won $43,500 for the victory.
On Saturday, Misty May-Treanor (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (San Jose, Calif.) won the women’s title in Gstaad.
The men’s final was a rematch of the gold-medal game at the Rome Grand Slam on June 16 when Gibb and Rosenthal won their first FIVB World Tour Grand Slam and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in the process.
“We have really been fighting it out with Matt (Fuerbringer) and Nick (Lucena) for that Olympic spot and after all those months it came down to the last tournament and nearly the last match before it was finally decided,” Rosenthal said. “I think this intense secondary battle with our fellow Americans have helped us raise our game to the level it is now and we hope it carries forward to London.”
Gibb and Rosenthal advanced to the gold medal match by defeating top-seeded compatriots Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Calif.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) in the semifinals, 21-10, 21-18 in 34 minutes.
Dalhausser and Rogers advanced to the bronze-medal match, where they fell to Italy’s 13th-seeded Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai 21-19, 21-18 in 36 minutes.
In the men’s final, Gibb and Rosenthal picked up where they left off in Italy and led early in the first set and finished the 21-18 win when Gibb went over the top of Emanuel at the net for a deep corner kill for the set-winning point
The second set started out much closer and was tied at each point up to 5-5 when the Americans scored four straight points to move ahead 10-6. Gibb and Rosenthal kept a two to four-point margin for several serves to gaining a 17-14 point lead. Brazil’s Alison/Emanuel closed to 15-17 and then 16-17 before USA’s Gibb and Rosenthal scored five of the last six points to secure the set, match and gold medal victory.
In closing out the match, Gibb scored the final four points of the match for USA as he placed a deep corner shot, blocked Alison, blocked Emanuel and ended it with a precision kill down the middle between Alison and Emanuel.
“It was an amazing tournament for us once again,” Gibb said. “It is an honor to play and rewarding to defeat a team like Alison and Emanuel who are the top team in the world. Sean and I have been playing together for seven years and to beat the reigning world champions in two straight gold medal matches is unbelievable.”
Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.