June 24, 2007
Bet on Misty, Kerry in the finals
AVP star Todd Rogers blogs from belle Paris
America Falls to Brazil
From Thursday, when I last checked in, to Friday was good. From Friday to Saturday it was not so good if you are waving the red, white and blue.
Friday was once again good to the Americans. The women were very strong with all three women's teams receiving byes in the first round of the playoffs. Then all three of them won their matches. EY and Nicole had the toughest draw in the Salgado sisters from Brasil. I was able to catch the latter part of the match and it was a good one. EY and Nicole were able to pull it out in the third, 15-13.
The men were solid as well. Sean Scott and Matty Furbs were the only ones to go down. They went down to the team from Cuba. I did not see the match, but from all accounts, the little guy was digging everything and ripping aces on his jump serve. Phil and I got the winner of that match and faced them in the afternoon. We played very well to take the Cubanos down in two games.
In other matches, Rosy-Gibb took an Estonian team who won just two weeks ago down in two games fairly easily. Metzger and Lambert played the Chinese No. 1 team of Wu-Xu. The Chinese team can be very potent when they get it going, but the American team pretty much dismantled them in two games. At the end of Friday, the total match count for the USA was 24 wins with only two losses.
Saturday was a different story. It started with Gibb and Rosy falling to the Brazilian team of Franco and Pedro in three tough games. They had a swing for game in the third, but were unable to get the point. Then Phil and I had a very good game with the defending gold medalists, Ricardo and Emmanuel from Brazil. We had a chance in the second game after taking the first, but were unable to convert to go up 20-18. They took us down in three games. Stein and Lambert were the only American men to be on the winners side today. They took down Herrera-Mesa from Spain in two games fairly easily. They then matched up with Emmanuel and Ricardo, but came out on the losing end of the stick. It was not the Americans' best game and the Brazilians did play well.
They had a bit more success on the women's side. It started out with Misty-Kerri taking down the Australian team that won a couple of weeks ago in two games. Not very close. Then Rachel-Tyra took down Austria rather easily. The only loss in the fifth-place round was by Nicole and EY. They lost a heartbreaker to China. I was able to watch the third game and it came down to the wire. They played well and it could have gone either way.
Unfortunately for Team USA, they had to play each other. Rachel-Tyra lost in two games to Kerri and Misty. Team USA No. 1 is looking pretty good so far, and if I were a betting man — which occasionally I am — I would put my money on them to defeat the Chinese team in the finals.
Hopefully the Americans can garner 50% of the medals here in Paris with one gold and two bronze medals.
Paris, Paris, Paris, a "romantic" city. Unfortunately for me, my romantic one and only — my wife — is at home. I guess Phil (Dalhausser) and I will have to gaze at the lighted up Eiffel Tower. Just doesn't seem like that would be so romantic with a 6-foot-9 bald guy. But he is good as a partner in volleyball.
The American onslaught continued today in Paris. Yesterday the three American women's teams went a combined 6-0 and followed that up today by going 3-0. They are all seeded in the top 8 and received a bye into the second round of the single elimination playoffs after pool play.
The American men have continued what the women started. Four American teams went a combined 7-1 in the first round of pool play today. Sean Rosenthal-Jake Gibb, Stein Metzger-Mike Lambert, and Phil and I all went 2-0 on the first day of competition. Matt Fuerbringer-Sean Scott won their first match but lost to the Brazilian team of Marcio Araujo-Fabio Luizin in three hard games. I know Phil and I have already clinched our pool, and I believe that Rosy-Gibb have clinched theirs — Not sure about Stein and Mike though. From what I saw, all four teams are playing at a high level and look to do well here.
For Phil and I, we started off midday against a potent Spanish team in Herrera-Mesa. Pablo Herrera took a silver with Javier Bosma in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He is a very good player. Raul Mesa is young, as is Herrera, but a very good player in his own right. We served Mesa for the most part. In the first game, Phil was very good. He was serving really tough and stuffed Mesa a fistful of times. We won 21-7. The second game they mixed it up on us and were shooting the ball a lot more. Phil did not serve as well and neither of us, particularly me, adjusted our game to shot mode. They took that one in a tight battle, 22-20. The third was tight in the beginning at 6-6, but we gradually pulled away with a couple of digs and putaways, a tough serve by Phil and a big block by Phil. Final score was 15-11.
In our second match we took on the Swiss team of Laciga-Laciga. They are brothers who do not speak a word to one another when on the court. They played for a long time together before breaking up at the end of 2005. Marcus Laciga normally plays with Marcus Egger, but Egger has been hurt this season. Phil and I played very solid volleyball and were able to win 21-14, 21-13. I sided out well and Phil blocked a lot of balls in the first game. The second was closer until I scooped a couple of balls and was able to put them away. At that point we pulled away to win.
All in all a good day for Phil and I. Tomorrow we play the top team in our pool, one from the Netherlands. Never played them before so I am looking forward to it.