Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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
F I V B FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE VOLLEYBALL
PRESS RELEASE 29.07.2007
AMERICANS SWEEP SWATCH-FIVB WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD MEDALS
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
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
The following is copied from Todd's Web Page (http://ToddJRogers.Com) -
SWATCH-FIVB World Championships held 24-29 July
(5966 miles, 9602 km from home)
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Our first match was against a kid I recruited at UCSB named Alex Gutor. He just graduated from Penn State this year and is a very good outside hitter with a live arm. We beat he and his partner pretty easily, 9 and 7. In our second match we played Blanton and Baxter and had to go three to beat them. They played well in the first and beat us 21-19. We came back strong in the second and third and beat them by a couple of points in each game to advance to the quarters on Saturday.
In the quarters we played Ring/Olsen. We played very well and beat them handily in two games. Never really trailed and got out to good leads in both games. Our next round was against Loomis/Stolfus. They had beat Williams/Jennings and received a great draw when Mariano/Ratledge beat KK/Wong. We beat them in two games although we had to come back from being down 12-9 at the break in the second game. Good luck to Ty and Hans as they represent the USA in the PanAm games coming up. Do us proud boys.
In the crossover semis we played team jump serve, Fred and Anthony. They had groveled all the way through the losers bracket to get to the crossovers. They played well and served well too. I don’t think they had many aces but they got Phil in a lot of trouble passing. He was all over the court and I was sending up sky ball bump sets from everywhere. Thankfully Phil is probably one of the best in the world at dealing with that kind of set and at the end of each game we pulled it together and won 21-19, 21-15.
The finals were a great match between two teams that were playing very high level volleyball. Stein and Mike ended up winning the match 23-21, 15-21, 15-13. Really good game with crazy rallies that had all the players gassing for air. Just wish we could have come out on top.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
From July 6 - 8, during the AVP Crocs Tour event being held in Seaside Heights, NJ, the AVP is offering free access to live tournament coverage on avp.com TV and avp.com Mosaic. To gain access you need to be a registered member of AVP. To register on AVP.com - https://secure.avp.com/enterwo
You can now find wallpapers of Todd & Phil on Todd's web page -
I checked out the weather and it looks like it will actually be pretty good. Considering that we have played in the rain in the last 5 events, I am pretty stoked. Should be interesting to see how the teams that have been travelling to FIVB events do in this tourney. Everyone else has had a nice break while we have been playing and lots of travel too. The flip side is that the FIVB has a higher level of competition and therefore it will be easier. Take your pick. I think both are true so you get a wash.
Wanted to answer some folks emails since I have been blogging and answer some questions.
Scott in Manhattan Beach - The Euro's ect... have become very good beach volleyball players particularly in the last 7 years. Before that, the americans and brasilians dominated utterly with only a handful of other teams being in the mix. Now that you have all the rule changes from 2001, you are seeing an influx of very good and very big indoor players. The learning curve of this "new game" is very short. Players can come out who have a good indoor background and be effective in a year or so. These guys are good athletes and very good indoor volleyball players. The transition used to be you had to bomb jump serves/pass those serves/set those tough passes/drop and play defense a ton. Now it is: bomb jump serve(miss a ton) and then make it an easier serve so better pass/easy set/block block block and pretty much never drop off the net. Might be confusing there but you get the jist.
The AVP is not currently letting these players play on the AVP tour. Most of the AVP players agree with this stance and would freak if it was changed. Essentially, the thinking is that if the foreign players played over in the AVP, they would take a lot of money from american players and make it tougher for young up and comers to crack in.
German Torres - Thank you for your support. It would be very fun to come to your country and play in an exhibition or something like that as well as do a clinic. It would have to be sometime when the AVP and FIVB do not have tournaments. Usually in April the AVP has tourneys. I suspect next year they may even start in March because of the Olympics. Contact me and we can discuss it more.
Ryan Reeder - Thank you. I like to think that I have put a lot of time and effort into being a good beach volleyball player. I consider myself a good athlete but certainly not a dominating one and therefore have to do all the little things well to be able to compete with the better athletes. I will take care of your request but please be patient and send me a reminder after Austria.
Diane Pernicone - Thank you for your compliments. Phil and I will be going to Austria. We have signed up and have full intentions on playing in the GS there. It is too important of a tourney for the Olympics to miss it. I am bummed I am missing Chicago as it is my favorite AVP stop outside of California. We are contractually supposed to play in all of the AVP events although there are some discrepancies in the contract depending on who you talk to. It is a confusing topic and one that is still ongoing. I apologize to you and any fans that were planning on going to Chicago to see me play. I am sure it will still be a great tourney as always.
Tyler - I agree fully with you regarding parking lots vs. beach sites. Let us hope the AVP comes to the same conclusion.
JT- Thanks. I hear you on your loyalties and would like to see team USA take Gold and Silver on both sides.
Drew in Santa Cruz - Thanks. I do my best and will continue to do so on the court as well as keeping people informed as to what is happening with Phil and I.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
As stated in my previous post, we played well and won our pool. On Saturday we thought we would play the 3rd seeded brasilian team of Franco and Pedro. They were upset by the third german team of Klemperer/Koreng. We played the germans midday and played very well. We beat them 15 and 12 or something like that.
We were then up against Marcio and Fabio to get to Sunday and the final four. We lost in 3 games. The first game we thrashed them due to Phil's serving and blocking. Mostly his serving was setting up his block. He was hammering his jump serve like only he can. Must have had around 5 aces and set up a lot of easy blocks and points for us. I think that game was 21-14.
The second game we were in a battle. They were passing better and siding out better too. We were up serving 18-16. They sided out and then we gave up 3 points in a row. The first play I banged a ball angle that Marcio dug one handed. I was off balance after I hit and was falling backwards. The ball floated over to our side of the net and landed in front of me. I tried to get my weight going forward but couldn't quite get to the ball. The next play Fabio tipped my line shot but Phil had an easy cover. I set him a bit off the net and he shot the ball line. Unfortunately, Fabio was all over it and threw it to the sand. The next ball I lost a joust to Fabio and could not cover it. I will say one thing for Fabio, he and Sean Scott are the two best big guys I have ever jousted with. They are very strong at the net and difficult to beat and difficult to cover the set when you lose the joust. I sided out the next play to make the score 19-20. We served Marcio and I scooped his angle hit but I scooped it over the net to Fabio. He crushed a line hit in front of me and that was game.
In the third it seemed like we were always trying to catch up to them as they were a point or two ahead. Ended up losing 15-12.
Currently we are ahead in the Olympic chase but I feel that we blew a chance to really jump way out and control our destiny. 5th isn't bad but in the end those should be our worst tourneys as that is what I think it will take for the two teams to qualify.