LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 26, 2013) – A full day of beach volleyball came down to a battle between the top two U.S. men’s teams on Friday, with Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal defeating Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson, 21-16, 21-19 in the semifinals of the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam.
Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Fla.), seeded No. 4, will play in Saturday’s gold medal match against Spain’s No. 14 Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrián Gavira Collado at 2:30 p.m. PT. Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), seeded No. 1, will play in the bronze medal match against Italy’s No. 6 Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo at 11 a.m. Both matches are scheduled to be shown live on the Universal Sports Network.
Dalhausser and Rosenthal scored the final point of their victory on a Dalhausser ace to the back of the court that neither Gibb nor Patterson tried to return. Dalhausser said he was ready for the match to end after a day of competition that started at 8:15 a.m. and included three matches.
“That last serve for me was like, ‘I’m going for it all.’” Dalhausser said. “Either I’m going to make an ace or I’m going to hit it out. Luckily I got an ace.”
The ace was one of three for Dalhausser in the match. He also finished (unofficially) with four blocks. Rosenthal totaled 23 kills and 15 digs. Gibb had 10 kills and three blocks while Patterson finished with 16 attacks and 11 digs.
The match was the second time this season that Rosenthal has played against Gibb, who was his partner for seven years before the team split at the end of 2012. Dalhausser and Rosenthal also won the first meeting at the FIVB World Championships in Poland.
“It happens in volleyball all the time,” Rosenthal said of playing his former partner. “We’ve got to go into it like it’s another match that we’ve got to win. They’re having a great season and we’re having a pretty good season too. It’s great for both of us.”
Dalhausser and Rosenthal advanced to the semifinals with a third-round 22-20, 14-21, 15-9 win in 53 minutes over Brazil’s No. 5 Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego. Gibb and Patterson had an easier time, defeating No. 18 Iver Andreas Horrem and Geir Eithun of Norway, 21-13, 21-17 in 36 minutes.
Dalhausser and Rosenthal opened the day with a 21-13, 21-15 win in 38 minutes in the second round over Canada’s No. 12 Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk. Gibb and Patterson beat Germany’s No. 13 seeded Markus Böckermann and Mischa Urbatzka in the first round, 21-12, 21-15 in 34 minutes.
Alison and Emanuel knocked Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ryan Doherty (Toms River, N.J.) from the tournament in the second round with a 21-9, 21-15 victory in 31 minutes.
Day, Ross Get Their Best FIVB Finish in Long Beach
In the women’s bracket on Friday, Emily Day (Torrance, Calif.) and Summer Ross (Carlsbad, Calif.) gave themselves opportunities to win in both the semifinals and bronze medal match, but could not convert and finished fourth. It was their best finish in an FIVB beach volleyball event.
Day and Ross, seeded No. 15, fell to Brazil’s No. 2 Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes in the semifinals, 22-24, 22-20, 16-14. In the bronze medal match, Germany’s No. 7 Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler defeated Day and Ross, 21-18, 25-23.
Lima and Talita went on to win the gold medal, defeating their compatriots Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Carolina Solberg Salgado, 20-22, 21-15, 15-13 in the final.
Asked what positives she could take away from the two losses, Day said, “Knowing that we deserve to be here and that our hard work has paid off and that we’re battling the best in the world.
“Everyone’s great out here. Everyone’s been playing forever. It can go either way sometimes. We need to work hard and get better.”
Ross agreed that experience will bring improvement.
“I think I need to keep working hard and keep getting better,” Ross said. “A couple times today I felt like I couldn’t side out and that shouldn’t happen.”
Day and Ross won the first set of their semifinal against Lima and Talita, 24-22 and reached match point in the second set at 20-18. But Brazil came back with four straight points to win the set 22-20, and then took the tiebreaker 16-14.
A few hours later in the bronze medal match, Holtwick and Semmler took a relatively easy 21-18 victory in the first set. Day and Ross seemed more energized in the second set and led 18-15 before Germany used a 4-1 run to tie the score at 19-19. Ross got a kill off the block to give the U.S. set point and a chance to take the match to a tiebreaker. But Semmler scored on two straight kills to give Germany match point. The U.S. fought that off and Germany reach match point again at 23-22 ad 24-23 before winning on a U.S. hitting error.
World Series Cup
Action in the World Series Cup, a tournament that features top U.S. beach volleyball teams against top international teams, begins on Saturday.
The U.S. team of April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Jennifer Kessy (San Clemente, Calif.) will play compatriots Kerri Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and Whitney Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.) in the second women’s semifinal at 1 p.m. PT.
The winner will play the winner of the first women’s semifinal (10 a.m.) between Germany’s Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler and also Brazil’s Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes.
The women’s gold medal match is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. The men’s semifinals in the World Series Cup are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, with Latvia’s Alesandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins taking on Brazil’s Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt in the international semifinal.
The U.S. semifinal will feature Rosenthal and Dalhausser against Gibb and Patterson. The men’s final is scheduled to be played at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
For a World Series of Beach Volleyball TV schedule, click here.