B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Phone: (719) 228-6800
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 5, 2012) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers along with Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal have advanced to the semifinals of the Shanghai Grand Slam in China, the first grand slam event on the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour.
The semifinals and finals will be an all-U.S. and Brazilian affair. Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), the tournament’s No. 1 seeds, will play Brazil’s 12th-seeded Benjamin Insfrans and Bruno Schmidt in Sunday’s second semifinal.
Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), ranked 14th, will take on Brazil’s fifth-seeded Pedro Salgado and Marcio Araujo in the first contest.
In 2011, Rogers and Dalhausser won the Shanghai gold medal with a 21-18, 24-22 victory over Gibb and Rosenthal.
To reach the semifinals, both U.S. teams had to win two matches on Saturday. Dalhausser and Rogers’ second victory came over compatriots Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Nick Lucena (Santa Barbara, Calif.), seeded eighth. Dalhausser and Rogers won, 21-18, 21-19 in 42 minutes.
“We have gotten better as the tournament has gone on,” Rogers said in an FIVB press release. “There are certain people who I don’t want to play on tour, not because I fear them, but because they’re my friends and I want to see them in the finals. I’m not going to let them win, but I want to see them do well.”
Dalhausser and Roger were relieved that they could conserve energy and not play a third set against Fuerbringer and Lucena after having to go three in their first match on Friday to defeat Italy’s 15th-seeded Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo (21-19, 18-21, 15-8 in 53 minutes).
“It means we have to work harder because they know our game,” Dalhausser added. “There were a lot of rallies and we had to run around like crazy. We looked at the draw last night and saw that it was a pretty tough draw and it is good to get through the day unscathed.”
Fuerbringer and Lucena, who defeated Switzerland’s No. 21-seeded Sascha Heyer and Sebastian Chevallier, 21-18, 21-16 in 44 minutes to reach the third-round match against Dalhausser and Rogers, finished the tournament tied for fifth.
Gibb and Rosenthal, who are in a battle with Fuerbringer and Lucena for the second U.S. men’s berth on the 2012 Olympic team, opened Saturday by defeating Brazil’s fourth-ranked Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha, 23-21, 21-19 in 47 minutes. The U.S. pair reached the semifinals by topping Spain’s seventh-ranked Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira, 20-22, 21-19, 15-12 in 53 minutes.
Complete information about the FIVB World Tour is available on the FIVB web site.