Dalhausser, Rosenthal Win FIVB Gold in Long Beach

July 27, 2013, 7 p.m. (ET)

July 27, 2013

B.J. Hoeptner Evans, Manager, Communications, Phone: (719) 228-6800, E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org
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Dalhausser, Rosenthal Win FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam

LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 27, 2013) – The U.S. men’s beach volleyball team of Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal became the only team to win three FIVB tournaments on Saturday as they defeated Spain’s Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira in front of a packed house at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam, part of the World Series of Beach Volleyball.

Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Fla.), seeded No. 4 in Long Beach, defeated Herrera and Gavira, 21-15, 21-18 in in 45 minutes and won $33,000. In the bronze medal match, the U.S. team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.), seeded No. 1, fell to Italy’s No. 6 Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo, 21-16, 21-13 in 37 minutes.

Dalhausser gave credit to Rosenthal for the victory in the gold medal match.

“Sean played great. He made every single play that he could,” Dalhausser said. “I made a few plays at the end. He basically won it single-handedly for us.”

Rosenthal added, “I’m not quite sure about that. It was a lot of fun to be out here in front of fans, friends and family.

“It usually happens this way where the team you practice with a lot you end up playing. We practiced a couple times this week with Pablo and Adrian and sure enough we end up playing them in the finals.”

Dalhausser and Rosenthal had to come back from trailing in both sets. In the first set, they trailed 12-10 before scoring four straight points on three Rosenthal attacks and a Dalhausser kill to take the lead. In the second set, they trailed 15-13 and again at 17-16 before Rosenthal scored with two straight kills. Spain tied the score at 18-18, but Dalhausser responded with an attack and two straight aces to the back right corner to win the match.

Dalhausser and Rosenthal also won gold medals at the FIVB Fuzhou Open in April and the FIVB Rome Grand Slam in June. Overall, Dalhausser has won 26 FIVB gold medals over the course of his career, 23 with former partner Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Rosenthal has won seven FIVB gold medals, four with former partner Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah).

“Phil and my goal this year was to win more than anybody else on the tour,” Rosenthal said. “With the parity on the tour this year, it’s going to be hard for another team to get more wins than us, especially if Phil and I go out and win a couple more.”

The fourth-place finish was disappointing for Gibb and Patterson, who have medaled in three FIVB events this season. Gibb and Patterson have defeated Paolo and Lupo the last two times they played them.

“Italy played really well and I just left my partner out to dry,” Gibb said. “He can’t play defense behind what I was putting up for a block. It was tragic.”

Patterson agreed that he and Gibb could have played better.

“It was all on our end,” Patterson said. “We didn't do anything that we needed to do to get (Italy) in trouble. They dealt better with the scrappy, dirty long rallies. “

After another week off next week, the top U.S. beach volleyball teams will be back in action at the $440,000 FIVB Berlin Grand Slam in two weeks in Germany.

Ross, Kessy Top Walsh Jennings, Pavlik in World Series Cup Semis

LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 27, 2013) – The U.S. women’s beach volleyball team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy defeated compatriots Kerri Walsh Jennings and Whitney Pavlik on Saturday and advanced to the final of the World Series Cup, part of the World Series of Beach Volleyball, in Long Beach, Calif.

Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kessy (San Clemente, Calif.) came back from a 9-2 deficit in the third set and beat Walsh Jennings (Saratoga, Calif.) and Pavlik (Laguna Beach, Calif.), 18-21, 21-17, 16-14.  Ross and Kessy will play Brazil’s Taiana Lima and Talita Da Rocha Antunes in Sunday’s final at 1:30 p.m. PT.

After losing the first set, Ross and Kessy had a strong second set and led by as many as six points before winning 21-17. In the third set, Walsh Jennings and Pavlik jumped out to a 9-2 lead before Kessy and Ross posted their comeback, using a 9-2 run to tie the score at 11-11. They also fought off match point at 14-13 with three straight kills from Ross to take the victory.

“I told Jen afterward that that’s why I love playing with her,” Ross said. “I know that we can be down 9-2 and we still have so much fight, I don’t doubt that we can come back. It’s just a matter of calming down and figuring out what the right thing to do is.”

Kessy said she and Ross wanted to take advantage of the fact that Walsh Jennings and Pavlik were a new team playing their first match together.

“We wanted to serve a lot of middle since it’s a new team,” Kessy said. “I hadn’t seen Kerri play this year. It’s only her second time… and we wanted to hold on defense and make good runs.”

Walsh Jennings said the loss “lit a fire” in her.

“We should have beaten them. That’s terrible,” she said. “That loss is going to be with me for a little while; Every time I hit the gym.”

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 Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) against Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Casey Patterson (Van Nuys, Calif.). 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.