June 22, 2010
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - It took longer than usual, but the beach volleyball tandem of former Gaucho Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser topped an impressive international field to win a FIVB World Tour event in the Czech Republic this past weekend.
After battling through five elimination matches on Friday and Saturday, the duo kept its poise to defeat Brazil's Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego by scores of 21-15, 14-21 and 15-11 in Sunday's gold medal match.
It was the Olympic champions' fourth title of the FIVB World Tour season and 12th of their careers. The only team to advance to all six FIVB semifinals this year, Rogers and Dalhausser increased their Tour points lead with Sunday's victory, going up 3,740 to 3,020 over Alison and Emanuel.
It was a grueling road to the finals for the top-seeded squad after losing their second match of the double-elimination tournament Thursday against U.S. rivals Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, the 17th seed. However, Rogers and Dalhausser regrouped to take their revenge in the rematch, downing Gibb and Rosie in three sets to reach the semis.
In the semifinals, Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany, third in the points standings, fell prey to Rogers and Dalhausser.
In 31 World Tour events as a team, Rogers and Dalhausser have reached the semifinals in 23 of them, usually taking a more direct and quicker path than the meandering one in Prague. The last time a gold medal-winning team conquered five elimination matches in a double-elimination Tour event was back in 2007.
Earlier 2010 World Tour events saw Rogers and Dalhausser take first in Poland, Italy and Brazil and second in Russia. They finished off the podium in China.
The World Tour resumes June 29 in Stavanger, Norway, a stop that Todd and Phil garnered gold medals at in 2008.
USA Today named Rogers and Dalhausser its Athletes of the Week Monday.
The formidable team has been dominating on domestic soil as well, winning two of three AVP Tour events they have played in - the first in Santa Barbara, the second in Huntington Beach. They tied for second in the season opener in Fort Lauderdale, where a final match was wiped out due to inclement weather, and skipped the Virginia Beach stop to compete in Prague.
- UCSBgauchos.com -