2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Monday, December 31, 2007


Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!!!

Things have been nice in our neck of the woods. Beautiful weather today. Going out to play on the beach in just a bit. Might top out around 70 degrees or so here.

Training wise things have been going very good. Lifting for the past two months and feeling very strong. Working on the track for the past month and it is still a ridiculously hard workout but every time out there I am feeling stronger and stronger. No ball work with Phil yet as he has been in Florida for the past several weeks. I expect we will start up in the next week or two though.

Off to watch some bowl games.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eagles win 10-6!

My son was very happy!! We had a great time going to the game and I have to give a huge thank you to Ryan Morgan and #20 Alan Ball from the Cowboys for hooking us up with those tickets.

We flew out early Sunday morning (6am) on a direct flight from SB to Dallas. I got my son up at 4:30 and he didn't sleep on the plane until at least 1 hour into the 3 hour flight. He was so jacked to be flying and going to an Eagles football game. We got into Dallas around 11am, checked into our hotel and went over to the stadium. Everything was within about 10 miles so it was pretty easy getting from one spot to the next. We did have to park about a mile away but it was a fun walk with all the tailgaters going strong and basically being stupid drunk. Funny for Nate and I at any rate. Surprisingly, there were a lot of Eagle fans there.

We ended up sitting in the endzone seats but lower section. Got to see the one touchdown at reasonably close range at least. Wish the game could have been an offensive explosion but Nate was just happy his Eagles won. Romo was pretty darn bad. Couldn't believe how many throws he made to wide open guys that were not even close to the receiver. I don't buy into the "its because his chick was there and happens to be very famous herself." Don't care either way though.

Trip home was uneventful and easy through Phoenix. Got home late afternoon on Monday. Of course now my son wants to go to Denver to see a game. I told him only in the early part of the season unless we are in the skybox or something. To cold to sit for 4 hours. Probably be writing a similar email next year in October from Denver.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cowboys vs. Eagles

Been off the blog scene for awhile. Busy and don't have anything current to go with. Figured I share this weekend though.

Nate, my son, and I will be going to Big D tomorrow to watch the Cowboys take on the Eagles. My son is a big Eagles fan and that is the closest they come to Santa Barbara. At least in the latter part of the season. We are flying out oh bright and early tomorrow on a direct flight from SB to Dallas. Check into the hotel and then on to the Stadium. I can't say that I hold any true love for either team. I don't hate 'em but don't love 'em either. My son is 6 years old and loves football. His favorite channel on the Dish is 154. That would be the NFL Network for those of you who do not know. Choice between Sponge Bob and Football and the pigskin wins it everytime. I love it.

Look for us on the 50 yard line.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day!!! My family will be playing a little family picnic ball on the court. Supposed to be 70 degrees or so tomorrow so..... play ball!!!

Just wanted to update on training and comment on some things.

Training started November 5th for me. Officially got back in the weight room with my trainer Bob Alejo. This is our third week in now. Starting slowly which is good for the body. Still sore as all get up though. No ball work with the exception of the highly intense family games of which the boys are dominating still!

I will not be playing in the Hot Winter Nights this year. I was thinking of playing in the Northwest stops but after discussing it with various people I decided against it. Takes an entire week out of the training regimen and I personally think the guaranteed money is just average. Word on the street says that Phil, Kerri and Misty will not be playing at all either. I have heard that most of the other top players will be playing in at least one if not several.

Phil and I's first planned event is the FIVB event in Australia at the end of March. That will kick off the new season for us and will allow us to stay away from touching the ball too soon for our own good. I know some people like to start even now or in December but I always like to start as late as I possibly can. There is plenty of volley to be had in 2008 and starting early makes it tough to stay up for volley in the late months of summer and fall.

Eat lots of Turkey!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Saga Ends (Almost)

It is the end of February now and all that remains to do is to shape up the court, put the drainage in and put the sand in. Like I said in the last blog though, I have to let the rains subside and the court dry out. Any tractor that went into the pit right now would be spinning mud all over the place.

I talked with Mark to see what days would work for him. We finally settle on a Monday and Tuesday that we will both be in town in June. Works for me since we have to let everything dry out anyways and that will probably take through April. Mark sets up all the heavy equipment we need to rent as well as sets up the shipments of sand that will be coming in.

I posted a little about putting in the sand back in June. Basically I flew back from Atlanta on Sunday night but got stuck in Vegas due to a cancelled flight to SB. Had to get back though so I rented a car and burned the midnight oil as well as the freeways. Got home at 6:30am with the sun coming up and Mark about 20 minutes away from showing up. Started shaping things up at 7:30am and finished that up by the end of the day. Not as easy as it sounds to shape up a volleyball court. Kind of a long process.

The next day the sand was due to arrive around 1pm. In the morning we put in a special french drainage system and did some knick knacks to prepare the court for the sand. Sand started coming in at the requested time. I believe it ended up being about 10 or 12 loads of sand. A load being a semi-truck bed with 2 beds per truck. Mark was hustling moving the sand from the dumping end of the court to the other end. Thank God for heavy equipment. We got all the sand in and spread it out by nightfall. The court, minus net and lines, looked fantastic.

Two days later I left for Charleston and then on to Europe for a couple of weeks. Needed to focus on my job rather than putting up the court. I wanted to put up the court but I needed to dig some holes in the sand and measuring ect... I started the process but didn't get it done until mid-September. Took a lot more adjusting than I had thought it would. I should have had the AVP crew to come over and put it in. They are the professionals. Have to give a huge Thank You to Dave Culpepper from the AVP crew. Without him I would never had been able to put up the net. Thanks Dave!!

So now I have a court to play on in the backyard. We have had a bunch of family games with girls against boys. My wife and daughter vs. the son and I. I have to say the boys have been pretty dominant so far. :) We play a half court kind of game rather than the full court. Probably be a year until both kids can go for full court play. Lots of fun though. Probably play tonight since the high temp is supposed to be about 85 degrees today. Yesterday was beautiful.

The almost part of the post is because the court morphed into doing a ton of landscaping. We put a very nice brick wall around the majority of the court to hold the dirt and water out from the mounds. (The court is slightly sunken in from the level of the ground around.) We put in a bunch of sod throughout places in the yard that had been dirt. We put flagstone walkways where there had been dirt walkways throughout the yard. That part is almost done. We put in a second wall on the other side of the mounds to hold in dirt and water from running into the yard. Basically our mounds are surrounded by block walls. Looks really nice and the guys putting it in are doing a great job. Although it ain't cheap. Have a guy putting a metal grille over a window that could be broken on the guest house. Wanted to have that done before I have any serious games on the court. We have to finish up some landscaping on the mounds as well. Put in some lavender and stuff like that. Something that when the ball flies into it will not pop the ball but at the same time will not die.

The sand cost about $10,000 and we put 3 different types of sand in. The first 6 inches was building sand which isn't the best to play on but is about 3 times less $$$ than the good sand. The next layer was the good sand but had not been dried out to kill any plant seeds ect... The third layer was the good stuff but dried out. That is the most expensive and we topped off the court with about 6 inches of the stuff. The middle of the court is about 2 feet deep and the outer part of the court is about a foot deep. Probably a little more than I needed but it helped with the drainage and I don't think we are ever going to have to worry about hitting bottom on this court.

The landscaping and other stuff is costing a bundle. Not really sure how much that will end up running as it is on going still. Some of it we would have done regardless as it needed to be done to improve the yard. The flagstone not only looks nicer but helps keep the dirt out of the house. The stones will be surrounded by grass so there won't be any dirt areas that kids and dogs will be walking on and tracking it in the house. Should be done with it all by the new year and everything will look great come training time in February, March and April. Looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Saga Continues

So I ended up losing from March until October/November. I was busy with the tour and Mark was busy fighting fires. The fire season lasted until early December that year but I was able to do a little work around the court.

Over the summer the court had drained out and dried up. Then sometime in September a soft area developed at the lowest point of the court. That confounded me for about 2 months. The drier the weather the harder the area became but it never completed dried up like the other areas of the court. We finally figured it out when we did about 5 loads of laundry in one day. The soft area had a little water in it and that water turned a bit sudsy. Turns out we needed to take care of our septic system. It was very very old and the dry well was no longer working so was full and draining to the lowest possible point. We think it might have been from the original "settlers". It was at least 35 years old as I was told by the experts.

That was the next big hurdle. We did not want to do anything to the court until that was taken care of. So we had the septic tank pumped out as it was full. Then they took a little camera gadget attached to a wire line and followed the pipe from our septic tank. It took him to the dry well and sure enough it wasn't very dry. The dry well was also an illegal one and that is how we knew it was so old. They were the kind that little kids in Texas and elsewhere have fallen into and been trapped. New dry wells are filled with gravel while old ones were empty pits covered by brick, concrete and then dirt. The brick and concrete eventually age and deteriorate and fall into the dry well. Then all you have is about 3 feet of dirt over a 30 foot deep pit about 3 to 4 feet wide. Pretty sketchy when you think about how the dirt could give way and someone fall in.

We also applied for a permit for a new dry well and received it but had to jump through a bunch of testing hoops to get it. That ran us around another grand or so and also took about 3 months. Finally got that all taken care of and I dug up the old well and had it pumped out and filled with gravel. We had the new well put in and all the piping ect... for septic tank, old well and new well taken care of.

Now I am sitting on the verge of a new AVP/FIVB season as it is now the end of January and I am out another $6,000. It is also the rainy season and I can't really do any work on the court until it dries out. Also need to find a weekend where both Mark and I can take care of business. Lost of issues to deal with.

So to recap: I am in around $12,000 deep so far and all I have is an unshaped pit in my backyard. I have been at this for a year now and won't be able to do anything more for at least 3 months because of the rains ect... The good part is we have jumped through all the hurdles with the county and neighbors and just need to finish it up. The bad part is I will be spending a lot more money to put sand in as well as shape it up and do the landscaping.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Beach Court (Part II)

The next step was to look into suitable drainage and then getting the sand in. Unfortunately, all of that was put on hold when my wife called me and said that some guy from the county of Santa Barbara had come by and put a work stoppage tag on the project. That was a couple of days after we had finished digging it all out.

Up to this point I had spent around $800 for the rental of the heavy equipment. Getting rid of all the greens, trash, ect... ended up costing quite a bit more than I anticipated. A couple hundred under $3,000. I was already in over $3500. I was hoping to be about a grand less than that but that is how it flies I guess.

Couldn't finish the court as I wanted because of the work stoppage order. Seems that if you move over 50 cubic yards of dirt on your property you have to get a land use permit in Santa Barbara County. Normally they would never bother with a beach volleyball court, but we have a wonderful neighbor who likes to get involved in everything and was afraid I was doing a commercial court or something. The county got a complaint and therefore they had to investigate it. The county guy actually apologized to me and seemed a little bit embarrassed and annoyed to be out busting a guy who wanted to put a little beach volleyball court in his backyard. He had bigger fish to fry and this was essentially a waste of his time. Now I had to jump through all the county hoops to get the land permit and this would take time.

To make matters worse, along came a deluge of rain in the month of March. Instead of a beach volleyball court in my backyard, I now had a duckpond!! I had to submit a ton of plans which fortunately Mark was familiar with and did all of the drawings. I submitted the plans along with a nice donation of almost $2G to the county to be able to build my beach court as well as all the fines because I did not get the permit before beginning the project even though every person I spoke with shook their head and asked me why on earth I was getting a permit for this beach court?

The plans eventually received the stamp of approval but I had already lost 2 months time as it was now late April of 2006. I also still had a my duck pond that was starting to dry out now but not enough so that I could start anything. To complicate matters I had already began the 2006 beach season and my weekends were now spoken for until late September. Mark, the guy helping me out, had the official start of fire season too so he was essentially out as well.

My project was now on hold until early fall depending on when they called the fire season. I was already in over $5G and the nice shaping ect... that Mark had done of the court was gone from all the rain beating down into the court. My troubles had only just begone though.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Building a Beach Volleyball Court (Part I)

I have been asked to blog about building my beach court in the backyard and therefore I figure I will do so in a couple of blogs. I will tell the story and eventually get in to some of the costs of things. It is actually still ongoing but more because the beach court has morphed into doing a bunch of landscaping throughout the backyard.

The Beach Court has been in the back of mine as well as my wife's minds since we moved to the Santa Ynez Valley about 5 years ago. We bought an acre and there is room to put things in like beach courts, pools, corrals, ect... We conceptualized for about 3 years before actually acting on our addiction to the beach game. Part of that was of course money. Didn't have enough to put in a decent court without going into debt and I really did not want to do that. Part of that was how do we go about doing it. So after a good 2005 beach season with Sean Scott and a promising new partnership with Phil Dalhausser, we finally made the decision to go for it.

I looked online for "how to build a beach court" and didn't find a lot of help. I spoke with several folks in my area who do have beach courts and they did give me lots of helpful advice. How deep to go, what kind of poles and nets to use, what kind of sand to get and helpful things like that.

I spoke with a friend of mine, Mark, who is a heavy equipment operator for the fire department. He had never put in a beach volleyball court but had put in a pool for his brother and has been a heavy equipment operator for about 20 years or more. The guy basically knows what he is doing. I did some measurements in the back yard and after measuring several spots, I finally found the place it would go. My friend told me all the phone calls I had to make and took care of all the heavy equipment stuff for me.

We found a four day weekend where he could come over and I would be around and made sure all the equipment that we needed was here on the start date. That was in February of 2006 to give you a bit of a time frame here.

The previous 3 weeks saw me cutting down trees and bushes and removing our vegetable garden boxes to another area. Get your hands dirty kind of work which I actually enjoy doing in my own yard. It also saw Mark and I, more Mark really, work out how the court would be shaped and how the area would look once we were done. My wife and I didn't want the court to be totally above ground with railroad ties to hold the sand in. We wanted it slightly sunk in so when you looked into the backyard from the house, you would see the top half of the net and poles. Kind of a hint of a beach court but not the whole thing staring you in the face.

Mark and I hammered out an area that was ready for the "beach" to be put in over that 4 day period. The first day he cleared the area of grass, tree stumps, bushes, roots, and anything else that was in the way. We put it all in a Marborg dumpster I had ordered. I was his gopher for the little things. I moved a fence back about 30 feet which enlarged an area for more grass since we were taking away a large area of grass. On the second day we started to dig a little and start to shape up where the actual sand would go. Also started to build some dirt mounds that would become landscaping mounds around the court to kind of "hide it" from view. The third day saw us continue the second days work but we started to run into a problem of extra dirt. As Mark says, "dirt grows". Boy does it ever. We were fortunate in that a neighbor literally behind my house needed dirt to fill in an old pool area. She came over and asked if we had any extra dirt, she would take it all. We had a dump truck delivered on the 4th day and begun to load it up and unload it on her property. Worked out pretty well as dirt is not cheap to get rid of nor to buy so both my neighbor and I were able to save a little money. By the end of the 4th day we had a nice area to put in the beach court.

At that point in time I was thinking I would have a beach court by the end of March. Little did I know all the hoops I would have to jump through to get to that point.

Friday, October 19, 2007

AVP Banquet

It was a good haul for Phil and I at last nights AVP End of the Year Banquet. Took home a fair amount of hardware and had some good laughs with friends.

We both took home the Team of the Year award and more importantly the Crocs Cup Trophy. That was our second biggest goal of the year behind winning the World Championships. Our names are engraved on a beautiful trophy and we both received a nice crystal piece for the mantle.

I received the Best Defender of the year award for the fourth straight time. Had to share the award with Rosy but that's okay by me. I figure he and Nick will be vying for that award for a long time much as Casey and I have been vying for it over the past 6 or 7 years. Even though I shared it this year, hopefully I can retain it while I am still playing. Tough to do though when Phil is shadowing 2/3 of the court with his block. Not that I am complaining mind you. :)

Phil was the Best Offensive player for the third straight year and what will probably amount to about 10 straight years by the time he is finished playing.

He also supplanted me as the Tour's MVP this year. Most definetely deserved though as he had my vote for these past 2 years. I think I mainly got it in 2006 for my role in helping him to develop as a player rather than for how well I played. Hopefully he can maintain his MVP status for years and years to come.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Off-Season Training

A lot of folks have asked me about my off-season training regiment. How I gear up for each new season on the beach. So I figure I will give some insight into what I do once the last ball hits the sand in any given year.

Once that last ball was hit out of bounds by me in Brasil, it was time to gear up for the 2008 campaign. Throughout the month of October I vigorously rest, rest, and then rest some more. That rest includes lots of bottles of vino, a fair amount of hops, and even a bit of the hard stuff when applicable. It includes surfing whenever the swell is up and sometimes even when it is a little down. There is a lot of running around in the backyard chasing my son and a soccer ball. Even some running down by the river to try and get our chubby yellow lab Sully back into trim snuggling shape. It entails sitting on my beach chair and cheering on Hannah and Nate in their respective soccer games. As my wife said to me, "seems like you are on vacation" to which I heartily agreed with her.

Once that difficult break of October is done it is time to get "back to work." This year I will get back to work in November. Through the month of November I will go to the gym 3 times a week to work out with my trainer, Bob Alejo. Run about 5 miles down by the river twice a week. I will still surf as much as I can and I will try and stretch every day. Spend lots of time with the family of course and take a quick trip over to Hawaii to see my old UCSB teammate Alika get married.

Once December comes around I will up the work load a bit by continuing to do everything from November but also add in a training session at the track with trainer Sandy Combs. Usually means some 400's, stadiums, and a load of jumps.

After the confetti comes down for New Years I will continue on the course I have begun but start to add in some actual ball work at the beach/my backyard. Most of this is just Phil and I. We try and go 3 times a week, weather permitting. We do passing drills, setting drills, ect... Not to much jumping, just movement and ball control stuff.

In February we start training with other teams once a week and continue with the weight training 3 times a week, workout at the track, and training ball control stuff. We will usually add in a little more jumping in our individual beach sessions. I start to phase out the long distance running around this time. I actually like running with my dog Sully down by the river. I have a 5 mile course I run that goes through packed dirt, shifty rocks, and a long stretch of sand too. I time myself and try to improve as I go. I add in some interval training stair climber which tends to kick my derriere. I don't sweat much but for some reason the stair climber gets me drenched with sweat.

In March I am no longer doing any long distance running but continuing with everything else. Phil and I will usually try and train twice a week with a different team and once with just the two of us or just doing drills. In 2008, the end of March marks the beginning of the 2008 season. Hopefully Phil and I will be ready.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fortaleza Finals, Ohio and 2008

The Brasil Final didn't go as planned but those are the breaks. We pretty much got smashed by the Brasilians. Not that they had to do a whole lot of smashing. I must have hit 6 or 7 balls out, got scooped a bunch on easy scoops, and got blocked once or twice. I was basically terrible. Phil played okay. Missed a lot of serves but did side out well. We were basically way off from the way we had played previously in the tourney.

I went to Columbus, Ohio for a Red Bull Promo. It had nothing to do with the AVP Hot Winter Nights Tour but hopefully it will help the turnout for that. There is an amazing bar there called Flannagans with 9 very nice beach courts. David, the owner, is a great guy who is really into beach volleyball. Went to a nice dinner and then hung out at the courts playing games with the folks there for about 5 hours. Had a good time and would love to do it again. Getting on a plane wasn't super easy but the part in Columbus was fun.

Looking towards the 2008 schedule and Olympics:

The cancellation of the two events in Mexico and Bali cost Phil and I some money, but actually helped us for the Olympics. We have put ourselves in a position where the less tourneys there are, the less chances the other teams have to catch us. The FIVB has put there tentative schedule out there for next year. It is on the FIVB website. Waiting for the AVP to put out there schedule so we know which events we will be playing next year. Right now I would say we will be playing in Australia and some of the Grand Slams. Not sure about all of them at this time. We have to play in at least 2 more events to get the minimum number of 8 events. Would be nice to play in more than that of course. When the AVP gets their schedule out, and let us hope that it is sooner than they got their schedule out last year, then Phil and I will discuss how we want to play it.

I will try and BLOG about once a week on a variety of topics relating to beach volleyball, training, Olympics, ect.... If anyone has any specific things they would like to hear about, please feel free to ask under comments.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Todd in Columbus, Ohio - Thursday, Oct. 4th

Todd will be appearing at -

Flannagan's Dublin
6835 Caine Rd
Columbus, OH 43235
(614) 766-7788


Thursday, October 4th
6:00-9:00 PM

Exhibition, autograph signing, play.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tomorrow, Colombus, Ohio

Should have put this out there earlier but I obviously wasn't thinking. I will be in Colombus, Ohio for a Red Bull Exhibition on October 4th from 6pm to 10pm. Not sure where but I know it has a bunch of beach volleyball courts, runs leagues, and is a Red Bull account! I will try and find out and let you know. If anyone does know, please post it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fortaleza Finals

Played well against the Swiss. We only had the one game today so pretty mellow out here.

Started off a little back and forth but started to pull away mid game. Had a comfortable lead towards the end of the first. The second we were up 6-0 and 12-2 to start the game. They sided out better from there but the game was over for both teams by then. The first game was mostly serving. Laciga got an ace on me and the other guy got an ace on Phil. Phil had two or three of his own and I was just floating it in the court. Second game we just kept the serve in and they gave us a lot of points with errors. So on to the finals and a rematch with Ricardo and Emanuel.

Certainly it is difficult to beat a team twice in the same tourney but that is not going to change our game or mindset going into tomorrows finals. The wind is less of a factor on center court. More swirly and you can jump serve from both sides. The semi with the brasilians was pretty good. Had a little of everything. In the end, Emanuel and Ricardo made the plays to win. Should be fun. Looking forward to playing the match and then jumping on a flight to Sao Paulo and then home. One more day!!

Fortaleza Semis

Thank you to all that commented on my last blogs. Been fun getting to meet all of you at the various sites around where you live.

Our last game yesterday was a fun one. We played on an outer court so it was windier than in center court where we have not played yet. I think that definetely played to our advantage. Game started off pretty even. Both teams siding out and occasionally getting a point due to a tough serve on the good side. Think we switched 11-10 up. Then we increased the lead to two points as it got close to the end. Phil had a chance for a point on an overpass on a jump serve by me, but he got scooped by Ricardo on a left handed spike. Phil scooped him back but hit a waffle ball out on the spike. That would have made it 19-17 with me still serving on the good side and given us a chance at sideout for game. Instead it went 18 all and we traded sideouts from there to go to the bad side. We traded one sideout and then Phil shanked a ball for them to go up the sideout to win. We managed to sideout and then Phil stuffed Emmanuel and then stuffed Ricardo on a trap set. Pulled it out 26-24.

In the second game we played pretty darn good. Went up early and never gave it up. They got back to within 17-15 with us on the good side siding out. But Phil sided out and we took a 19-16 lead to the bad side. Scored two straight points and it was over. Good win to follow up our win in Swissland over them.

Next up is the tough serving team of Laciga/Schnieder from Swissland. Laciga unloads on his serve every time. He has no conscious when it comes to missing. They are both big guys and sideout pretty well. I expect a tough battle, especially in the wind. Although it will be on center court where the wind is not as much as a factor.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wind Ball in Brasil

So far so good here in Brasil. Some how or other Phil and I have continued to win. We beat the Latvians pretty good yesterday afternoon. We were up 9-0 in the first and 8-0 in the second. Ended up winning 21-10 and 21-15. Was not so much us as it was them. They were struggling a lot. It got to the point where their coach, who is also the dad of one of the guys, was laughing at every point. Kind of felt bad for them but you gotta win.

In our first match today we took on Franco/Cunha from Brasil. Played well and served well too. We won 21-15 and 21-18. I was actually serving really well. Better than Phil if that is possible. Just hitting it as hard as I could in the wind and letting the wind do crazy things to the ball. So we sit at 5th place now and play Emanuel/Ricardo in the semis of the winners in about 1 hour. I am sure they are looking to exact a little revenge from Switzerland. See if Phil and I can~t beat them anyways.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crapshoot in Brasil

Ridiculously windy here in Fortaleza!!! Kind of a crapshoot as to who is going to win each and every game. In our first game we played Ces/Ces from France and it was who could actually pass and keep the ball in play as well as rip your jump serve from the good side. It is howling windy and not really much in the way of beach volleyball. We were down big in the first game, 9-5, before going to the good side and switching 10-11. Pulled it out 21-18 from the bad side and fortunately they missed a serve for game. In the second we came out strong and put them away early. We switched to the good side up 13-8 and then Phil served 7 straight points. A couple of aces but a lot of errors too. Won that won 21-11.

Couple of things that people probably want to know. What is the deal with KWong and Tyra? From what I hear, Kevin~s visa was out of date. They put it on as day/month/year rather than month first followed by day and year as we do in the states. So basically they did not allow him into the country. Tyra just did not get her passport and visa back in time to leave f0r brasil. So Rachel asked Nancy to come down as she had a current visa. They are doing okay considering. Would say the wind should help them.

Have to play our second match against a young team from Latvia. They are hungry and pretty darn goood. Then again, it is so windy that it will still matter who can keep the ball in and bomb their serve. Should be real fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Best of the Beach

Phil and I were not able to defend our title as the best of the beach in San Francisco. That went to the well deserving team of Matty Furbs and Casey Jennings. They have been playing really good ball lately and showed that in the finals. Congratulations to them on winning!

As for Phil and I, well, we were pretty average this tourney. We were lucky to make the semi's in truth. We beat Nick and Mark in 3 games but should have lost. We were down 8-3 in the third as I couldn't side out or find the sand for the life of me. We came back purely behind Phil's blocking and several errors by them. Fortunate to escape.

Against Anthony and Fred we once again escaped by the skin of our teeth. We got smoked in the first game due to a gaggle of aces by Fred and Anthony. They again mostly went at Phil with very tough serves and forced a lot of bad passes and shanks. In the second game the tides were turned as Anthony was struggling to find the court with some shakier sets by Fred. In the third, we found ourselves down 13-10. Phil sided out and then controversy struck. Phil dropped and scooped a line shot by Anthony. He swung deep angle and it barely hit the line. I heard it hit the line. The line judge called it out first and then changed his call to in. The top ref gave it to us and then they had to check the line ect.... Fred kept saying it was out as did Anthony. Ended up giving it to us and Fred just about killed the ref. I went and looked and to me it looked clearly in. It was funny as we were discussing all this my daughter came out on the sand and gave her "two cents." It was pretty classic in my view. I don't think anyone else appreciated it though.

That made the score 13-12 us down. We switched sides and Anthony hammered one angle that I picked barely off the sand and it shot over the net to Fred who hit it into the net to tie it 13 all. They sided out the next play as did we. Next play I remember is Phil stuffing Anthony for match. Escaped again.

During the first game my daughter, Hannah, who was right next to the box, was trying to give Phil passing advice. She was yelling Phil's name and when I looked over she was showing him how to get low and get his arms out in front of him. Put everything in perspective for me after that. Phil didn't see her doing that but it was a classic moment for me.

In our semifinal game vs. Jake and Rosy we straight up got beat. They came out very aggressive from the service line and had 4 clean winners down Phil's line and also forced several bad passes by him. They were really fired up and we were not. Rosy played great defense and Jake blocked a bunch of balls. Mostly me in transition as I think he got me about 3 times. The second game was closer. We were up 18-17 before they sided out and Phil hit two balls out. Rosy then sided out for match to win 21-19. We were very lethargic and just didn't have it that day.

Phil's knee has been bugging him and we are both pretty banged up. Therefore, Phil decided to rest the knee rather than play in the third place game. Hyden and Keenan took our place and beat Mike and Stein in 2 games. Phil is okay and we will be playing in Brazil in the last tourney of the year. Thank God on that one!!!! Ready for the season to be done!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

God of the Beach

Didn't turn out like I hoped it would but you have to hand it to John Hyden who played a hell of a tourney. Grovelled all the way through from day 1 and and took home the God of the Beach title. I didn't see his play on Thursday but obviously he played well enough to advance. In our pool he was clearly the best player on Friday and Saturday.

I teamed with Stein vs. Matt/John in our first match on Friday and Stein and I lossed 21-16 and 16. Felt like we touched a lot of balls but needed to control and convert to realistically give us a chance at winning. John played really well and I thought Matt was solid.

In our first match on Saturday I played with John vs. Stein/Matt. John and I played really well. He set me great and I felt like I sided out exceptionally well. He sided out well too and we won 21-13 and 16. Glad it was done in two games as it was really hot out in Vegas for that 4pm match. By virtue of our win, it came down to John and I as to who would advance out of our pool to play for the god of the beach. I liked my chance with Matt but had to win big to secure a shot at the title.

Matt and I came out really strong in the first game and won 21-14. This gave me a shot to beat John. I had to win 21-17 or better in the second game to win outright and 21-18 to force a tie. They came out and played very well and had a lead for most of the game. Matt and I didn't make the plays when we really needed to and when John went up 19-16 it was essentially over. They won the second game and forced a 3rd game. We were only playing for $$$ at that point but that was certainly motivation enough for Matt and I. We won 15-13 in the third to make a little more dough.

All in all I had a great time in Vegas. My wife came out sans kids and it was like a mini honeymoon. We had our friends the Rays out as well as some family and other friends from where we live. Great times with friends and some of the best meals I have had in quite some time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Vegas Baby

If you can't make it to the Vegas tourney you are missing out. Everyone has a lot of fun and it is very cool to see different teams out there. Often times it ends up being next years team.

Vegas is a tough tourney for the little guy. Even though I won last year, I think it was due in huge part to luck. In my pool were 3 big guys and me. The serves I did get I just shot them down. I think a little guy only has a chance in pool when there are 3 big guys with him or obviously 4 little guys in the pool.

This week the pools are as follows:
Pool 1: Rosy, Keenan, Casey and Fred
Pool 2: Gibb, Hyden, Furbs, and Dax

Those guys will join up with either:
Pool 3: Todd, Stein and....
Pool 4: Phil, Lambo and ....

For me, I am hoping for 2 little guys like Dax and Casey.

Couple of notes on this tourney. If you get to the final you cannot pick your partner from Cincinnati. So I would not be able to pick Phil or him me. Right now, I have no idea who I would pick. Last year I played with 3 big men and they were all pretty easy to play with. I played right side the whole time and Lambo, Jake, and Furbs played the left and got served every ball. Ended up going with old faithful in Sean Scott though. He isn't there this year so right now I have no idea. Would be really fun to play with Dax to run the old offense we used to run. Probably couldn't score a real point but we would have fun siding out.

If I were a betting man I would be looking for the big guy with long odds. Last year Nygaard went off at either 30-1 or 18-1. Darn good bet considering he made it to the finals. Someone could have made some serious money if he had won.

Hope to see you out in the desert. Should be a scorcher.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to all. Was a good Labor Day Weekend for Phil and I. Played well all weekend long and took care of a big goal along the way. The only downside was some seriously horrible travel for me. Ah well, all in the life...

Left Thursday morning at 6am out of SB to Denver. Everything going smoothly until we had weight issues. I gate checked my Crocs Yellow and Black backpack as I got on the plane. They closed the door 5 minutes before 6am but then opened it up 2 minutes later to ask 4 people and their bags to get off the plane. Free voucher and all that jazz. Finally got everything squared away and we go to the runway. Still to heavy so we sit for 5 minutes to "burn fuel" with the engine roaring. Finally get off the ground 50 minutes late. Zip to Denver but I have a tight connection from Denver to Dayton. 25 minutes from the time we get off the plane. Should make it though right?

I am waiting to get my bag at the base of the plane. Doesn't come out with the other gate checked bags. I start yelling at the guy about my bag. I am yelling because he has earmuffs on and about 10 planes have their engines roaring. He goes and checks the bags and finds my bag. Meanwhile, time is ticking. He puts my bag under the wing and leaves it there! I am now ticked off because I got to go catch my flight and I am looking at a full fledged sprint from gate 51 to 81. I grab another guy and he asks for my green tag I got at plane side and I give it to him. He goes to my bag and then comes back without my bag. He tells me there is no green tag on my bag. He looks in the plane and nothing there either.

I am now officially screwed for my flight to Dayton. I remember back when I gate checked it on and realize that the guy who gave me the green stub never put the rest of the ticket on my bag. I clearly remember him giving me the stub and then throwing my bag on top of the other ones. I figured he had people behind and would throw it on when he got a second. Learned my lesson to not make that assumption ever again. Guy in Denver says he needs to get his supervisor and could I please take a seat in the terminal. I am super pissed now that he can't just hand me my bag. I show him that I have my driver's license with me and that my wallet is in the bag. Doesn't matter. He tells me if I so much as touch the bag they have to shut down the entire airport due to security reasons. I am flabbergasted and pissed to all hell about the ridiculous rules that are now in place after 9/11.

I go inside and there are about 50 people waiting to get on a plane. I chuck my book down on a chair and it bounces up to the roof and I catch it as I sit down. A United rep. comes up to me nervously and tells me I need to calm down. I laugh and tell him I am very calm just really pissed off. I was getting some pretty good looks from the people about to get on their plane. The rep. was actually very helpful and ended up making sure I got to Dayton via Chicago but it was all a huge pain in the rear. Thought my bag would never make it to Dayton but when I checked the baggage carousel out it comes. Phil and I were shocked it made it all the way their.

Volleyball wise it was all good. On Friday we received a first round bye and then played Wong/Fonoi. Tough draw for us as it was only a couple of years ago when they won Manhattan. Also riding on that game was the Crocs Cup so we had a little added pressure but a little more incentive too. We played well and won 14 and 14. This accomplished a major goal of ours to win the Crocs Cup.

In our second match we played Matt and Casey who over the last couple of weeks have started to gel again. They came out fired up and took it to us as we lost the first game 21-16. Both Phil and I were pretty lethargic and Matt/Casey were playing very well. As we got ready to receive the first ball of game two Phil leans over to me and tells me, "Hey, let's both pick it up here. We won the Crocs Cup, now lets win the tourney." Thus the maturation of Phil Dalhausser continues. We came out much stronger and won 21-18 and then 15-9 in the third.

On Saturday we played Keenan/Hyden in a rematch from NY. We played very well serving really tough. Phil was bombing it and I even got in on the action with an ace off my jump serve too. We won in straight sets.

In the crossover semis we again played Matt and Casey. They had grovelled through the losers bracket and came out really slow. We took it to them in the first game. The second game they were ready to go but we were able to pull it out by playing steady and Phil's big serve. This put us in the first night final of the season. Hopefully the AVP and the promoters will do more of them as I think they are a great idea.

In the finals we played Stein and Mike. So far this year we have a winning record against them but were o-2 in the finals. We got the beat down in Charleston and then lost a tight 3 game match in Seaside Heights. We came out and Phil was a blocking machine. They were not very aggressive either. I think the first game was 21-12. In the second game they came out much more aggressive from the service line and from an offensive perspective. Stein was hammering the angle and throwing in a good shot or two to keep us off balance. Phil and I were able to keep it close. I think at one point there were 22 sideouts in a row. The score was 11-11 and Stein and I sided out all the way to 22-22. At that point I turned to Phil and I asked him what he wants to block. He says that he will take the line and just get huge. Two blocks later we win 24-22. Nice way to finish off the regular season. Now on to the always super fun specialty events in Vegas and San Fran.

Monday, August 27, 2007

BACK in New York

It was a bit painful but Phil and I were still able to win the AVP Brooklyn Open. Really stoked on our win actually as we had to go through a bit of adversity to do so.

Last Monday I jacked my lower back up moving a ball bag full of balls. I did no major physical activity all week. No practice, lifting or plyo work to speak of. Just ice and light stretching. Back felt okay on Saturday in our first two games.

We beat a qualifier team fairly easily in our first match and then played AL-B and Fonoi in our second match. The first game we crushed them but the second game was a battle. We ended up winning that one like 28-26 or something like that. Back felt a little ginger but I was still able to go full out in both of those games.

In our third game we played Hans and Ty. I probably had about 3 digs in the game. I was not moving well at all. You couldn't really tell though as Phil and I were both blasting our jump serves and creating a lot of easy opportunities to score. Phil blocked really well and they made several errors. I was struggling to run anything down though. We won in 2 games.

The next day we played Hyden and Keenan in the morning. I was stiff and I struggled. I don't know that we would have won anyways as I discussed it with Phil and we both thought they played really well. They served incredibly tough. They probably had close to 10 aces in the game and 5 of them we were not going to touch regardless of health. They beat us down pretty good with scores of around 14 and 15.

After that game I went and Steve Paulseth, a PT, worked on me until my next game. Felt a lot better and we were able to take down Matt and Casey in 2 games. Sided out well and felt like I could move pretty well around the court. I went right back to Paulseth when the game was done and he did some more work. We played Stein and Mike in the crossover semis as they had gone through the winners bracket undefeated. I felt better that game then the one before and we won the first game pretty handily. The second was a full on battle. It was tied at 18 all and we proceeded to score 3 points in a row to win it in 2 games.

I went back to Paulseth and he worked his magic again. Going into the finals I felt pretty good. I could pass, set, and jump to hit without any problem. The hard part was having to land after jumping and fully extending myself on a layout dive. There were a few defensive moves in the finals that I like to think that I could have made but pulled up because I did not want to jack the back up badly. We ended up playing Scott Wong and Aaron Wachtfogel in the finals who upended a lot of teams on there way there. We went out to a 6-1 lead and it looked like we would bury them but they came back strong and tied it up around 12 all. From there on the entire match was a battle. They were game and playing well. Aaron had some great digs and Scotty was blocking, serving and siding out very well. It came down to making the plays at the end of the game and not making errors and we were fortunate in that we did not make errors and we did make the plays to win. I give kudos to both of those guys as I thought they played really well. Not just to get there but in the finals they were straight up good.

The two things out of this tourney that I was most stoked on was being able to battle through a stiff back and more so, the way Phil picked his game up. I told him after we lost to John and Brad that I needed him to help me out by looking to hit on 2 in transition and help me out in serve receive as well. He always does this but I was basically asking him to do it more. He put all but one ball away in siding out for me and put a bunch of balls away in transition too. It was good to fight through a little adversity and I have to say I am very satisfied with our win in Brooklyn.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Las Vegas & San Francisco

Something that I have not seen on the AVP website is where teams rank to go to San Francisco and players rank to go to Las Vegas. I wish they would put it out there as I find it very intriguing. Therefore, I will put it out there myself.

Minor Disclosure: These points could be wrong but I am pretty sure I am really close. :)


San Fran. is for the top 8 teams on the year based on a teams best 6 finishes. Right now there is a major battle for the last 3 spots. 5 teams are pretty much in. They are:

Phil/Todd 2640
Stein/Mike 2380
Jake/Sean 2226
John/Brad 1874
Fred/Medel 1838

The other teams battling for the last 3 spots are:

KK/Wong 1422 and dropping 180 points
Dax/Sean 1196 and only adding points
Aaron/Scott 1188 and dropping 108 points
Mark/Nick 1170 and only adding points
Hans/Ty 1170 and dropping 108 points
Matt/Casey 1144 and only adding points

There are 3 old teams that are ahead of these guys but are not playing as of right now. They are:

Casey/Mark 1368
Olsen/Ring 1368
Sean/Furbs 1296

I suspect that several teams will pass these teams this coming week and it will be a moot point with perhaps the exception of Olsen/Ring getting back together for Cinci.


For Las Vegas you have 6 guys who have essentially locked up one of the 12 spots. Only 12 players get into Vegas and the top four get bye's into the second round. This tourney is also based on a players best 6 finishes irrespective of who they played with. The rankings are:

1. Phil 1320 dropping 180
2. Todd 1320 dropping 180
3. Stein 1190 dropping 180
4. Mike 1190 dropping 180
5. Jake 1113 dropping 162
6. Rosy 1113 dropping 162
7. Hyden 937 dropping 108
8. Keenan 937 dropping 108
9. Fred 919 dropping 108
10. Anthony 919 dropping 108
11. Dax 899 dropping 104
12. Mark 885 dropping 108
13. Sean 872 dropping 104
14. Casey 850 dropping 108
15. Matt 846 dropping 104
16. Nick 795 dropping 90

There are others who could jump in but need 2 good finishes to do so.

As you can see, there is 143 points separating #7 from #16. One tourney could make the difference.

These tourneys really make a 9th place matchup very interesting. Guys and teams are scrambling for points. There is good money to be had in the season ending tourneys, not to mention they are a lot of fun too. Everyone wants to be there but only a few can go. If you are coming to NY or Cinc. look for some of these matchups and you will surely see a fiery game.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Great Tourney in Boston

Another good weekend for Phil and I. Started out with a direct flight from LAX to Boston in first class. I did have a hopper from Santa Maria to LAX but its a short flight and almost doesn't count. Flew in comfort the whole way and got into Boston on time at 5pm. Phil and I grabbed a cab with Jeff Alzina, the coach for Mike/Stein and JJJ/Annette, and went to the Hilton. Saw a PF Changs right next to the hotel and the 3 of us had a great dinner there. Have not eaten there in about a year and I love that place. Especially the chicken lettuce wraps.

The next day we started the tourney. 24 team MD so we got a bye in the first round as the 2nd seeded team. Played Loiola/Jewell for our first match. They had beaten Rester/Lee in their first round match. Both guys are coming off of surgery from last year. Loiola had hip replacement surgery and he is starting to show glimpses of his old self. In the beginning of the year you could tell he had surgery. Now he is jumping well and looking more like the Loiola of old. Jewell had knee and shoulder surgery. I think the knee was major and the shoulder was minor. He can still hammer the ball so I think the shoulder is fine. The knee looks good as he is jumping well. He does wear a knee brace probably just in case. We beat them in two games and played well doing so. Scores were in the mid teens or so.

In our quarterfinal game we had a rematch of the MB finals with Dax and Sean. Good match. We smoked them in the first and then they smoked us in the second. The third was tight until a controversial call. I scooped Sean on a short line shot, jumped up and banged a ball off his right fingers that landed out of bounds. Phil and I celebrated and Sean was yelling no touch. They called a touch and a point for us. I think the score was 9-6 instead of 8-7 with us up. Sean went ballistic on the refs. For my part, I swear he touched the ball with his right pinky, ring finger and middle finger. Things happen slowly when you are mid play and I distinctly saw that touch. Phil saw it also. It was a turning point and we won 15-9. I asked others if they saw it and got different answers. Two guys said it was a touch. Another guy said no touch. I stand by my assertion that he touched it. Only Sean truly knows and I had no desire to ask him after that game. Maybe next week. Maybe not...

When we woke up Saturday morning it was howling windy outside. We played an old foe, Rosy/Gibb, on an outside court. It was standard wind ball. We won the first game about 21-18 and there was probably 5 true pass, set, putaway sideouts. The second game we lost 22-20. In the third we pulled ahead and stayed ahead to win. Lots of great rallies because of the wind. It was very difficult to put the ball away.

In the semis we played Fred/Anthony again. This team is becoming a permanent fixture in the late rounds of tourneys. I expect they will be the 4th seed next week in N.Y. We beat them in 3 games in another wind ball match. We lost the first 21-18. Won the second 21-7. The third we were down 7-9 and then won 15-9. Side out and then 7 straight points on errors, blocks and digs. On to the finals.

In the finals we played Matt/Casey. They had lost to Stein/Mike in the quarters of the winners and fought through to get to the finals. On the way there they beat Jake/Rosy to give them a 5th and got revenge on Stein/Mike to give them a 3rd. Casey was really fired up to be back in the finals. He is a really great guy and I love playing against him as he is such a fiery competitor. Phil and I were up to the task and played well though. Phil blocked great in the 1st and then served them off of the court in the second. I played my usual game trying to clap a lot as Phil got blocks and aces. :)

It was a good tourney for us and a great new stop for the AVP. We have had several new stops this year and Boston has to be number one, at least in my book. I congratulate the Fenway Group and Mike D. on a great tourney., I look forward to coming back next year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Boston & MB Connection

Boston coming up. First time in pretty much everyone's memory that we have gone to beantown. No idea what to expect going in. I have heard that the AVP has paired up with the Red Sox on this one and that there has been a lot of advertising about the event. Hopefully that will help and it will be packed. By the way, it is actually in Quincy which is a suburb of Boston as many have noted. Have not spent much time in Boston and I have never played there. Played in Cape Cod way back in 1997 and flew into Boston. Visited as a kid too. Should be fun.

I have to give some props on Manhattan Beach to my high school coach, Jon Lee. There was a very distinctive San Marcos High School Royals flavor in the semis and finals. Dax is a 1990 graduate, I am a 1991 graduate, and Anthony Medel is a 1996 graduate I believe. Jon Lee was the coach to all of us and was our first major influence to go down to East Beach and play some beach volleyball. He always encouraged his players to get down to the beach and play on the sand because he felt we would get better there than in a moldy old gym. For me, that might have been the best advice I ever got from him. I would harbor a guess that Dax and Anthony might say the same. Thanks Jon and good luck in your upcoming season.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Always did love my Granddaddy!!

What a weekend. Ups and downs all over the place but certainly ended on a high note for Phil and I. Not going to lie to you, both Phil and I are physically and mentally pretty drained. Overload with travel, volleyball, and everything in between. That made it all the sweeter though to be able to focus in on the task at hand and get it done.

Phil and I were the third seeded team behind Stein and Lambo (1) and Jake and Rosy (2). Our first round was against Sabla/Rupp. Played Sabla last year and I know of Rupp from his days at UCI. They played solid volleyball and we were a bit lackadaisacal in my opinion but focused in at the end of the games and won each one by 6 or 7 points. Our next match was against the good team of Wong/Mayer. KK is injured so Wong picked up Mayer for MB. Good pickup too. I think very highly of Mayer' game. We battled them and were fortunate to come out with a 21-19, 21-18 win. It was a good game highlighted with some fireworks between Wong and I. Nothing major, just competitive chatter if you will. :)

On Saturday we played team jump serve, Fred and Anthony, in the morning. Boy was team jump serve on their service game. Frankly, that is the best I have ever seen Fred and Anthony play. They both played exceptional ball and served extremely well. We mostly served Fred and he sided out very well. The first game we pulled away mid-game and won 21-14 or so. In the second game, Fred went off from the service line. At one point they were up 12-2. Fred served something like 10 points in a row. They all were bombs and they were all in. Pretty crazy actually. We "brought" it back to lose 21-13 or so. In the third game they continued to serve really well and sided out well too. They didn't get a ton of aces, just creating havoc with their serves. They tend to target Phil rather than me and he was struggling to pass their serves. I was bump setting him from 30 feet off the net and that puts a lot of pressure on me to set him decently and of course for him to put it away. The third was a battle but Anthony sided out to win 15-13. Congrats to them on what Anthony labeled probably his biggest win of his career. I will say this, it was not a fluke that they beat us as they took Jake and Rosy to three and then on Sunday morning they took out Stein and Lambo in 3 games to give Stein and Lambo a 5th place finish. They then battled Sean and Dax but eventually lost 15-13 in the third. Nice tourney by them and congrats to both of them.

So that loss sent Phil and I into the losers bracket. Not a fun place to be and one that Phil and I do our best to avoid at all cost. After the women's final we played Mariano and Ratledge. We played well and won by 5 or so points in each game. Our next match was against Scott Wong and Aaron Wachtfogel. It was the last game Saturday afternoon. I think Scott was a bit tired after going through the losers bracket. The first was competitive but we won by a couple of points. In the second we jumped out immediately and Scott was looking very weary. We won that game fairly easily to advance to Sunday.

On Sunday we played Mark Williams and Nick Lucena who had upset Keenan/Hyden on Saturday. We played very well and beat them in two game by about the scores of 17 and 17. This pitted us against Jake and Rosy who had gone through the winners bracket. It was Phil and I's first game on center court as the number three seed gets no love. I came out with my radar way off. I was seeing everything really well but when I went to execute it wasn't working the way I envisioned. We fell behind 8-2 in the first. I felt okay as we took a timeout as I knew I just had to clean it up and we would be good. I did just that and we fought back to win 24-22. In the second game we continued to play well and I think their sails were a bit deflated after losing that first game with a big lead. I think the score of the second was 14 or 13.

That put us in the finals against my old partners and buddies, Dax and Sean. I truly enjoy playing against both of them because I have nothing but respect for the way they play the game and of course all the banter we throw back and forth to one another. They were really strong in the first game. Sean sided out very well as we went after him in the first. Dax made some great digs and Sean was blocking well too. It was a battle back and forth throughout the first. In the end, Sean came up with a huge block vs. me to win it 22-20. The second was a battle until about 15-14. Then we pulled ahead as Sean hit a couple of balls out and I scooped Dax and put it away for a 3 point run. Score was 21-16. Throughout the game, Phil was really struggling with his serve. He wasn't hitting it very good and was missing a ton of serves. That changed dramatically in the third game and won the match for us. It was 5-5 as we had traded sideouts until Phil went back to the line. The next person to serve was Sean and when he went back to serve the score was 10-6. Phil served 5 straight points! The first was a good serve and then I think an error by Sean. The next was a block by Phil. The next was a net dribbler ace. Phil seems to like those at critical times in MB. They took a timeout and then Phil came out and bombed one down Sean's line for an ace. We got a 1oth point before they sided out. We kept the lead until the end, winning 15-11 on a line shot for a sideout by me.

It was a great win for Phil and I and got us another place on the MB pier. It's always nice to know you are immortalized on the pier.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Austria to the Granddaddy

Well Austria didn't go like Phil and I planned. Looking at the silver lining, at least we got a day of R&R at home. Now back to the grindstone.

Phil and I took a 17th in Austria which really isn't going to help us towards the 2008 Olympics. Wasted opportunity is how I see it. We lost to a great Netherlands team in a mega battle. Score was 21-16, 22-24, and 15-17. We had our chances in the second and third games and did not convert. Gotta convert against the good teams and the bad teams for that matter. We actually played pretty well as did they. It was a good game worthy of a prime time match but relegated to the 17th place match. Such are the rigors of the FIVB Tour.

So now we continue on to the Granddaddy of them all, Manhattan Beach. Looking forward to once again be semi-local and not step on a plane to go somewhere. Just a leisurely drive down the 101 to the South Bay. Maybe take PCH to enjoy the view.

Things are definetely heating up in this stretch drive on the AVP. You have teams battling for the Best of the Beach in San Francisco (top 8 teams), God of the Beach in Vegas (top 12 players with top 4 getting byes into the second round), end of the year total points (all 16 regular season tourneys), Crocs Cup (best 14 out of 16 tourneys), most wins on tour, and of course who wins the most money on tour. Lots of fun stuff to look at. Phil and I are ahead in all those categories but not by much. We have our work cut out for us over the next month. Looking forward to it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Struggling in Pool Play

Phil and I managed to escape out of pool play as the third place team. No bye this time around though as we have received in the other Grand Slams. We did the same thing last year so we will look to last year as our inspiration for this year.

We were seeded second in the tournament and played the 31st seeded Italian team. They played well and we lost in two. Truth of the matter is that we played very poorly. We lost 21-17 and 23-21. Phil was a bit out of sorts and I was just average. I didn’t dig a lot of balls although I sided out fairly well. Think I hit one ball out and got scooped a couple of times. Phil was struggling to sideout and pass. He hit 5 balls out and his passing, which is normally pretty good, was not great. He also struggled from the service line, missing about 60% of his jump serves before he went to the jump floaty. Believe it or not, he received more serves than I did. Probably not by much, but I would guess around 60/40. He also was aced 3 times. To give you an example, at 21 all in the second game, they served the ball down the middle. He took a step to the ball and was yelling ‘you go’ and the ball almost hit his foot. Then he proceeded to say to himself, “what are you doing?” One of those games where you are just out of sorts.

Our second match was similar to our first match. We lost to the Spaniards 21-18, 21-16. Mostly a sideout affair. Phil got a lot of serves again although probably about 40/60 to me this time. He did not hit any balls out but was a little shaky on the passing which led to him getting blocked several times. One of them I set him too tight and he got blocked. He also got aced on a wicked float serve down his line. I gave up my usual couple of scoopies for the other team which they converted for points. We were ahead most of the second but collapsed at the end of the match. Still out of sorts.

In our third match we played Estonia and beat them in the first 21-14. We played much better on offense and defense. They went right after Phil in the beginning of the game and he passed perfect and sided out perfectly as well. That made them go at me and other than one dig, they didn’t score at all. In the the second game we jumped out to a 7-0 lead and they forfeited due to injury. The left sider has a bad shoulder and he was struggling to put the ball away. Good win at this time for us. We needed it.

Now we have one more match to win today. We have to play in the first round of the playoffs but it will be a draw so who knows where we will end up. Hopefully we will get a good draw as there are some good draws and bad draws out there. Either way, we made our bed by not winning and now we get to lie in it.

Live Scoring in Austria

Wanted to let everyone know that you can watch live scoring at


Check it out.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

World Champions

It feels pretty good to be the “World Champions”. It has not really set in to be honest. Every once in awhile it kind of jumps out at me, particularly when I think of another sport and who the world champion is in that sport. It is very surreal right now.

When I last blogged it was Thursday night in Switzerland and we had just finished pool play. Here is the rest of the tourney from my perspective.

We played only one match again on Friday. In the first round of playoffs we played Maia/Brenha from Portugal. This team scares me in big tourneys as they play well. They played very well against us and gave us a very stiff test. We actually played really well against them. The little guy was working Phil over on his block. He has an insane arm and wrist and I am surprised Phil has any hair left under his armpits after being burned so much. We were able to win 18 and 18 but it was a battle the entire way. We were helped by a possibly bad call at 19-18 our lead in the second game. The little guy went low line and it hit the top of the net which then pushed against Phil’s arm. The ref called no touch by Phil and 4 contacts by the Portugues. They were seriously pissed as it was an easy cover for them. Instead of being tied at 19 all it was 20-18 our lead. Tough call no matter which way it goes.

On Saturday we started out at noon against the Austrian team of Doppler/Gartmayer. As I have said before, they are a very tough serving team. They never got it going though. They struggled from the get go and Phil was placing his serves really well. He wasn’t really bombing it, but placing it on the sideline or right up the middle. They also helped our cause by missing probably 50% of their serves and making a ton of errors. Phil had 1 block and I had about 2 digs so we really didn’t earn a lot of points as much as they gave us the points. The final scores were around 15 and 15.

In our third playoff game we took on the number 1 Chinese team of Wu/Xu who we affectionately have named Tiny and Big Pimp. I have no idea behind the nick names but they are funny. They are really getting good and they gave us everything we could handle. The first game we slowly forged a lead but right at the end we gave it all up due to two aces and a block by Tiny. We managed 2 sideouts at the end to win 21-19. In the second game we were behind most of the game by a point or two. At about 16-19 we sided out and then Phil served two really good serves to create points for us. We traded sideouts on the next two plays and then I served two float serves that they struggled with. On one the set was coming from way off the net and was a trap set that Phil stuffed. The final point was another bad pass and overset that Phil poked into the corner. Final game was 22-20. That ended play for us on Saturday and put us into the final four on Sunday.

On a side note, every year that I have been to Gstaad there is a Greek American couple who has taken the Americans out for dinner. This year was no exception. The dinner has always been on Saturday night and I have been ousted from the competition already. Therefore I have a couple of glasses of wine and enjoy a fantastic meal. This year I had to forego the couple of glasses of wine. Although I must admit, I did have ½ a glass of Dom Champagne and a ½ glass of the excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. The food was again fantastic. To start off we had an assortment of meats and cheeses. The main course was a cheese fondue and a beef fondue. The beef fondue is something I have never had nor even ever heard of. They give you a plate of thinly sliced high grade raw beef. You skewer the beef and put it into a small pot of what I would term beef broth. The beef broth is sitting over a little burner and it cooks your meat. You take it out and dip it one of a variety of sauces. Very good and it didn’t seem like a lot of food at the time but when I was done I was comfortably full. The dessert was recommended by Michael, our host, as being excellent. He was not wrong. It was a homemade pecan ice cream that was utterly delicious. Thank you very much Michael and Christina.

On Sunday we played Emanuel and Ricardo in the semis. Epic match that was a real joy to play in. The first game was tight until about midway when we pulled away. Ended up winning the game 21-16. The second game my passing broke down on float serves of all things. I struggled to sideout and made a couple of errors. They also made some very good digs and went to a 14-7 lead. Final score ended up being 21-13 Brasil. The third game was a great game. It was back and forth in the beginning. In the middle we went up 10-7 and had a chance for 11-7 but did not convert the point. They came back with a scoop and put away on a pokey by me and a pass into the net by Phil that we had to give them a free ball. All of a sudden it was 10-10. We switched sides and the next play Ricardo scooped Phil and put it away. A huge 5 point switch!! Phil sided out the next ball to make it 11 all. We traded sideouts and then scored a point to go up 13-12 on the side switch. The next play Phil blocked Emanuel straight down but out of bounds by about 6 inches. So close. Phil sided out the next ball and we had our first of 5 match points. Emanuel shot it down the line over Phil and out of my reach. I sided out with a cut shot. They sided out with a big angle bang. I sided out with a line shot. They sided out with another bang off of Phil. I sided out with a deep angle hit. Ricardo sided out on a pokey that Phil swatted but out of bounds on the other side of the court. Ricardo tried to go sharp angle on Phil and hit the ball just wide on the serve. Match point number 5 I scooped Emanuel’s angle bang back over the net. Ricardo took the ball and then Phil stuffed him straight down for the match, 19-17. Crowd was going nuts and Phil and I were very stoked to say the least.

In the final we played the Russians. The key was not to let the “Bazooka” go off from the service line. This guy hits the hardest serve I have ever tried to pass. Fortunately we are about 2000 meters above sea level and the air is thinner. He had only one ace on a well placed middle serve that was not really that fast. We jumped out to a lead pretty quickly in the first game and never looked back to win 21-16. In the second it was close in the beginning and then midway through we scored a bunch of points and ended up winning 21-14 for the big “W”.

All in all it was a great tourney for Phil and I. Really had a great time in Gstaad. How can you not when you are in a beautiful place and win the biggest tourney of the year. One day it will completely hit me that Phil and I are World Championships. Right now, I am just happy to have won a tourney and get that much closer to getting to the Beijing Olympics.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Todd Rogers & Phil Dalhausser Win FIVB World Championship of Beach Volleyball

From the FIVB


PRESS RELEASE 29.07.2007


FIVB President Dr. Ruben Acosta (left) and President of Canton of Bern Samuel Schmid (second from left) present gold medal winners Todd Rogers (right) and Phil Dalhausser (second from right) of the United States

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 29, 2007 - The only thing that Todd Rogers mishandled here Sunday was the opening of a champagne bottle after he and Phil Dalhausser won the men’s finale to give the United States a sweep of the gold medals this weekend at the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships powered by 1to1 energy.

After eliminating reigning Olympic champions Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in the morning’s first semi-final match, Dalhausser and Rogers joined compatriots Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh as USA gold medal winners this weekend by defeating Dmitri Barsouk and Igor Kolodinsky of Russia 21-16 and 21-14 in the 45-minute finale.

In addition to sharing the US$60,000 first-place prize in the $1-million “Beach Volleyball Bash” in the Swiss Alps, Dalhausser and Rogers will benefit from the 1,000 points towards qualifying for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. A tandem’s best eight finishes on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour through July 20, 2008 will count towards qualifying for the 24-team field.

“This weekend was about Beach Volleyball, but not just about Beach Volleyball,” said the 33-year Rogers, who was named the SWATCH most outstanding player for the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships. “For me, these experiences are what I will remember. It not only is the competition, but it is about the fans in the stands, the beautiful surroundings and the overall atmosphere of good feelings generated this weekend.”

Rogers also added, that his partner “was the real outstanding player for the event. I bet Phil that he would be the SWATCH top player for the event since this was a homecoming for him and his family. I share this award with him as he is becoming one of the great players in the world. I am lucky to have him as a partner.”

Sunday’s title was the second SWATCH gold medal for the Americans, who won for the first time on the FIVB tour last August in Austria where Dalhausser and Rogers defeated Emanuel and Ricardo for the title. The next stop on the international circuit is next week in Austria where Dalhausser and Rogers will be defending their Klagenfurt title as the reigning SWATCH-FIVB World Champions.

“It is a tremendous feeling to win this title in front of my parents and relatives,” said the 27-year old Dalhausser, who lived a year in Switzerland before moving to the United States with his Swiss mother and German father. “We played two quality opponents today. Except for the second set against the Brazilians, we had a great day.”

Rogers and Dalhausser advanced to the gold medal match by posting a 21-16, 13-21 and 19-17 win in 68 minutes over Emanuel and Ricardo, who captured the 2003 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in Rio de Janeiro before claiming Olympic gold the next year in Athens.

Barsouk and Kolodinsky, who shared $45,000 for second-place as the first Russian men’s or women’s team to play in a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal match in the 20-plus-year history of the International circuit, advanced to the title match with a 21-13 and 21-19 win in 45 minutes over Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack of Australia.

In the bronze medal match, Schacht and Slack ended Brazil’s run of men’s medals at the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships as the Australians upset Emanuel and Ricardo 21-17 and 21-19 win in 42 minutes to capture the $35,000 third-place prize. The Brazilians split $28,000 for fourth-place.

The eighth of 13 double gender stops on the 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the women’s 2007 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships ended Saturday with reigning Olympic champions May-Treanor and Walsh defeating Jia Tian and Jie Wang of China 21-16 and 21-10 for their third-straight world title.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Pool Play in Gstaad

Everything going smoothly so far here in Gstaad. Phil and I won our pool over the last three days. We have played one match a day which is a bit ridiculous. I keep calling the FIVB tour the not in shape tour and this tourney just gives me more fuel to add to the fire. Personally I don’t like it because I want to get into the gym and work out ect… Tough to do that when you play everyday. Did get a workout in Wend. though.

Our first match was at 7pm on Tuesday vs. the 4th Swiss team. Never seen them before so had no idea what to expect. I was happy to be playing that late though with all the travel and time change stuff. Got a good warmup in and proceeded to thump them. Scores were 12 and 15 and if I had been more focused it would have been even worse. I think they might have been a bit nervous as well playing in front of the home crowd on center court in the World Champs. It was certainly to our advantage.

Our second pool play game was against the 3rd Netherlands team that beat Jake and Rosy in pool play in Berlin. We came out a bit sluggish. My sideout game was not top notch and Phil was still asleep. I gave up 3 points in a row to start the game but steadied out after that. Phil missed 80% of his serves trying to jump serve in the rarified air here in Gstaad. I dug a lot of balls but Phil’s transition setting was terrrrible and even when I did get a good set I was terrible. Led to a 23-21 loss in the first game. We picked it up after that and won 21-15 and 15-7. Phil started floating and going and we scored a ton of points on blocks, digs, and errors.

Our last game we played transplanted brasilians in the Georgia team. We won in 2 games with scores around 15 and 18. They were serving me in the first and I was siding out well. In the second game we were up 6-2 and cruising and they started serving Phil. I don’t think Phil was prepared for that as we switched sides down 8-6. The next play the little guy scooped Phil but hit out for us to save a point. We came back and it was a bit of a battle but we scored enough points to win it. Got a little reprieve from having to sideout all the time.

So today we play the veteran Portugues team of Maia and Brenha. They are a savvy ball control team that Phil and I beat last year here in the first round. I expect them to play well but hopefully I can sideout and Phil can be effective at the net as he was last year. That is our only game of the day today.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Link to Switzerland Results, Webcam, Photos

The following is copied from Todd's Web Page (http://ToddJRogers.Com) -

Todd & Phil are now in Gstaad, Switzerland for the FIVB

SWATCH-FIVB World Championships held 24-29 July

(5966 miles, 9602 km from home)

W in Long Beach

Phil and I finally got back to the winners circle in Long Beach. Was our 5th AVP tourney without a win and 8th one including FIVB events. 6th win of the season and all on the AVP Tour. Hopefully we can get a couple on the FIVB Tour these next two weeekends.

Long Beach was a 32 team event so Phil and I had to play in the first round. We were seeded second behind Jake and Rosy. A lot of people have asked me how we are not the first seed. The seeding is based on on your best 4 of your last 5 tourneys. Jake and Rosy had a 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th so dropped the 5th for a 1.75 seed. We had a 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd so dropped a 3rd and had a 2.00 seed. Coming up in Manhattan I think that Phil and I will be the third seed behind Jake and Rosy and Stein and Lambo.

In the first round we played Kyle Denitz and Casey Patteson. They are a qualifier team from Santa Barbara and a very good beach volleyball team. We beat them 16 and 18 I think. They were actually ahead almost the entire second game until Phil and I made a run at the end of the game to catch and pass them for the win. They played very well though and I hope they break through into the main draw over the rest of this season.

In the second round we played Matt Prosser and John Mayer. The first game was a good game as we won 21-18. The second we pounded them 21-14 or so and even Prosser's cheering section, Prosser's Pirates, were heckling them more than us.

Saturday morning we played Dax and Sean and played well. I think the scores were 12 and 14 or so. I expected a bit more of a battle from those guys but Sean was struggling a bit and not his usual crisp self.

We played Stein and Mike in the winners semis and had a battle at a high level. The scores were 21-19 and 19. Sided out for game one and had to score a real one to win game two. High level match from what everyone told me.

In the crossover semis we played Brad and John. They pretty much served us off the court in the first game winning 21-18. Brad was smoking his jump serve and John was spotting it really well and causing us all kinds of trouble. In the second game the jump serves were not quite as potent and we pulled our game up a bit. We won 21-16. In the third we came out strong and never looked back. Phil was blocking really well and they were struggling a bit. I think the score was 15-9 or so.

In the finals we played Jake and Rosy. Was a good fun matchup on NBC. We won the first 21-18 or so, they won the second 21-19 and we won the third 15-9. Lot of good rallies with a bunch of blocks and tough serves by Jake and Rosy. They had 4 aces in the second game with three in a row by Rosy down Phils line. Tough to come back from that. We did well in the third game and had a lot of energy which is something we have been lacking of late. Nice to be back in 1st.

Stein and Mike ended up third after losing to us and Jake and Rosy in the crossover semis.

John and Brad were 3rd again and are now the solid 4 seed. I am sure they are looking for a break through in the crossover semis and they should be favored to make it to the finals in Chicago.

Mark and Nick had a good tourney. They lost in the second round to Dax and Sean but made it all the way back to take 5th to Stein and Mike. Were all tied up at 13 all in the third against those guys but a sideout and error put Mike and Stein in the semis.

Ring and Nygaard were the surprise team of the tourney. Took a 5th overall and I would be willing to be that most guys didn't think this team would do very well. They did though so congrats to them.

Other notables were Dax and Sean taking a 9th. I would bet that they won't be there very long. Casey and Matt beat Dax and Sean on Saturday but then were taken down by Ring and Jeff to take a 7th. You can bet they are not happy with that finish. Fred and Anthony took a 7th. KWong and Witt took a 9th.

Next blog from Gstaad Switzerland.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Long Beach AVP

Back in the states again and it feels good to be home. Still getting up before the crack of dawn and exhausted by 5pm but that is jet lag for you. Better coming West than going East.

First NBC event on the AVP coming up in Long Beach. Everyone is looking forward to that. Money is a little more and the points towards season ending tourneys are more too. Of course there have been some major shakeups throughout the draw. With the break up of Matt and Sean you see a major trickle down effect. I think there were a lot of players who have been silently (or maybe not so silently) biding their time until they had the opportunity to jump on one of those two guys. Both of those guys ended up going with, "Reunited and it feels so good!!!" Matt with old flame Casey and Sean with old flame from last year, Dax. Both these teams should have no trouble getting back into the groove with one another since they played for at least a year or more. Then on down the line with Nick/Mark re-united, Jeff/Ring, Wong/Larry re-united too, Canyon scooping young Billy up, and so on and so forth. Only teams staying together in the top 10 were Hyden/Keenan and Fred/Anthony. Plus the top 3 teams too.

On the women's side the split of Holly and Logan is a bit of a shocker. I think Logan has come a long way under the tutelage of Holly and become a much better player. Still has a great upside to her play as well once she ends the indoor thing and focuses exclusively on the beach. Diane and Logan are great at offense but what about ball control and defense. Will be interesting there. Kind of the big and big thing again. Holly picks up Brittany I think. No major trickle down though. Most teams at the top stuck together.

Hope to see you all in Long Beach.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bronze in Berlin

Phil and I took the bronze here in Berlin. We lost to the second brasilian team, 15-13 in the third. In the first game we got smoked. We scored one real point and Marcio and Fabio were hammering the ball straight down. Lost 21-15. In the second we were down most of the game but made a comeback and kept the score close. I chopped a ball sharp angle just past Marcio for the 21-19 win. In the third we dropped down 5-2 early and then brought it back to lead 13-12. But a sideout and 2 Marcio dig and putaways made the match for them.

We received a forfeit in the Bronze medal match due to Julius Brink hurting his shoulder in the semifinal game.

The final was a battle with the 3rd German team beating brasil in the first but losing in the second. The third was all tied up at 10 all when the big guys started dropping like flies. Fabio called a medical timeout as he was suffering from the heat. Then Koreng called a medical as he started to go down too. His partner called a second medical for him and then they took their regular timeout. He went out there but was really woozy and stumbling. Tried to block on the first play and pretty much fell over. His partner called the game as he realized that Koreng was in trouble.

The consensus out here is that the FIVB Tour has been in cold weather for the entire length of the tour this year. Then all of a sudden you get a heat spell the last 2 days and guys were struggling. Phil and I had no problem but last week in Seaside Heights was similar to the weather here in Berlin. Add to that the FIVB is always 4 day tourneys and the most games you ever play is 3, you get guys that are not in as good of game shape as perhaps they should be.

Friday, July 13, 2007

So far so good in Berlin

So far so good in Berlin for Phil and I. We went through pool play winning all of our matches in 2 games. We did have a semi-tight one with the Kiwi’s in the second game. Gave up some points at the end to make it close. Against Georgia we had another tight one in the second game. Had to go overtime in that game but had match point the entire time.

The Kiwis are a great bunch of guys. Kirk and Jason are young talented players and well liked on tour. Jason is a little on the small side but jumps really well and has great ball control. Scooped a lot of balls against me. Kirk is about 6’3 or 4 but skies. Goofy footer but reaches well and has a great pair of setting hands. In the first game it was soggy and cold. It was tight until about halfway through and then Phil let off some heat seekers from the service line and we went on a 5 point run. The second was close but we pulled away to about 20-17 before they got some points on bad plays by me. Put an end to that at 21-19 though.

In our second match vs. Georgia we played well with the exception of one short stretch in the second. The guys from Georgia are actually brasilian transplants and are a good team. We smoked them in the first like 21-14. We were beating them 9-5 in the second when we gave up 4 points in a row. A sideout, bad pass, bad set, bad hit into net by me, sharp angle hit in the net by me, and lastly Phil scooped that I scooped but then got stuffed. All of a sudden 9-9. We traded points after that and it took us until our 4th match point to win on a shank pass on a good serve up the middle by Phil. Wasn’t really a shanked pass so much as they both went for it and got tangled up.

In our third match vs. the Australians we played very well. They have a very intricate offense which can be very potent but can also kill you if you don’t execute. When they got the good pass, set it was usually a sideout as Phil was moving all over the net to try and stop them. When the pass was so so they struggled to sideout. Also, they missed a ton of serves which made it much easier to sideout for us. Scores were 16 and 15 and we gave up 4 points in a row in the first game at game point.

Tomorrow is a new day though as we play the winner of Austria and the Netherlands.