Aug. 9, 2008
Story courtesy of USA Volleyball
BEIJING, China - The U.S. men's beach volleyball team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, ranked second, was upset in their opening Olympic match on Saturday, losing 21-19, 21-18 to Latvia's 23rd-ranked Martins Plavins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs at the Chaoyang Park beach volleyball venue.
The team will try to bounce back on Monday, Aug. 11, in its second pool-play match against 11th-seeded Sascha Heyer and Patrick Heuscher of Switzerland at 10 p.m. local time.
"This wasn't the way we wanted to start out the Olympics," Dalhausser said. "I wasn't nervous at all. It just wasn't our day. They played great."
Rogers added: "They played great and we played poorly and that combination means we got spanked."
The last time the two teams faced each other was on Sept. 27, 2007 at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in Fortaleza, Brazil where Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Samoilovs and Plavins, 21-8, 21-14.
However, Dalhausser and Rogers could not gain a similar edge on Saturday. With the score tied 12-12, Latvia's tip followed by Rogers' hitting error and a Dalhausser setting error put Latvia up by three.
Dalhausser and Rogers eventually tied the score at 19-19, but two straight Latvian kills put away the set for Plavins and Samoilovs.
The score of the second set stayed close until it was tied 7-7 when Latvia took a two-point lead on a U.S. error followed by Samoilovs' block of Rogers. Latvia eventually extended the lead 15-10.
Trailing 15-19, Dalhausser and Rogers tried to come back with two straight points, but Latvia kept them out of reach with a kill. Dalhausser responded with an emphatic kill down the middle, but Latvia's kill off his block attempt ended the match.
-- UCSBGauchos.com --