HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2012) – The end of the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Series National Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sunday marked the end of an era for at least two top U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams.
Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) is splitting with Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah), his partner for the last seven years, to play with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.). Dalhausser will be splitting with Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who has been his partner for the last seven years.
“We had a good run,” Rosenthal said after he and Gibb lost to John Hyden (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) and Sean Scott (Kailua, Hawaii), 21-15, 21-12 in the finals on Sunday at Huntington Beach. “I have so many good memories playing with Jake. They will never be forgotten.
“We will still be friends. We will still play golf.”
Gibb agreed that he and Rosenthal will remain friends.
“We had a good run and it’s been a blessing to play with (Rosenthal),” Gibb said. “I love the guy.
“This has been the most amazing year of my career for sure.”
Rosenthal was disappointed in the loss in Huntington Beach, but felt good about how the team had ended its partnership.
“The tournament was great; the final not so much,” Rosenthal said. “But it was a good weekend. It was nice to play down here where we train.”
Neither Gibb nor Rogers has announced a new partner. But Gibb confirmed that he will continue to play internationally, which could mean more shifting among U.S. men’s beach volleyball teams.
Gibb and Rosenthal had their best season as a team in 2012 as they won two FIVB World Tour grand slam titles along with two silvers and one bronze, accumulating enough points to win the FIVB World Tour Championship. They finished fifth at the Olympic Games in London. They won their only 2012 domestic tournament at the AVP event in Santa Barbara, Calif. Rosenthal has also now surpassed $1 million in earnings.
In their career as a team, Gibb and Rosenthal finished fifth at two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012). They won four FIVB World Tour titles, finished second five times and took three bronze medals. They also won nine summer-season AVP titles and one National Volleyball League title.
Dalhausser announced that he and Rogers were splitting on The NET Live online radio show. He said that he was trying to decide between Rosenthal and Nick Lucena (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) with whom Dalhausser has played in the past and who is now partnered with Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.).
“I was kind of tired of (playing on) the left side. I’d like to challenge myself on the right,” said Dalhausser, who will get that chance with Rosenthal, but would not have with Lucena.
“(Todd and I) didn’t have that great of a year. I think at some point teams reach their peak and there’s no place else to go,” Dalhausser said.
Dalhausser and Rogers are best known for winning the gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The team finished ninth at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Dalhausser and Rogers finish their career together with 23 victories on the FIVB World Tour along with seven silver medals and 10 bronze. In 2010 they won the FIVB World Tour title. They also won 43 AVP titles and one with the National Volleyball League. Both players have surpassed $1 million in career earnings.
About the photo: From left, Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal took the silver medal at the 2012 FIVB World Tour event in Beijing while Todd Rogers and Phil Dahausser won the gold. FIVB photo