2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weekend in Louisville

Long weekend in Louisville for this guy. Got in around midnight Friday with Phil. Then didn't play until 9:30pm on Saturday night. If I had known that I think I would have flown in early Saturday. AVP needs to start getting a schedule of games out earlier. We filled the time by going to see Iron Man. Great movie and I recommend you go see it.

We finally hit the sand later that night. Warmed up but it seemed like I just could not warm up the body. My joints hurt everywhere. Especially my knees, hips and back. We played ALB and Carlucci and battled in the first game. We won 26-24 or something like that. We were up the whole game but they made a nice run towards the end to tie it up. They had a swing for game but Phil dug it and then put it away. We had like 5 swings for game and hit 3 of them out. We pulled it out at the end. The second game we eliminated our errors and won 21-15.

I was so stiff and was trying to figure out why I was so stiff. It was a little chilly but not super cold. Maybe mid to high 50's. As I was walking back to the hotel I started to get the chills and realized I was stiff not because I am getting old, although that is true too, but because I was getting the flu. By the time I got back to the hotel I had the shakes. I showered and took some advil to bring down my temp. which had started to go up as I got the chills. Woke up the next morning and had a nice fever and the aches.

We played at 11am vs. Dax and Billy. I had taken some more advil and felt okay. I started off slow and they won the first game pretty handily. Dax was digging me a lot and I made a couple of errors too. I think we lost 21-16. In the second and third game I picked it up and eliminated my errors. Something I had noticed over the last several tourneys was that I was making a lot of unforced errors and I needed to cut back on those. I did that this tourney and we needed it. The second game we won 21-18 or so and the third we won 15-12. Phil had some big plays and I sided out well enough for us to win.

I went home after that game and basically slept in bed all day. We didn't play until 8:30 that night which gave me time to rest. I continued to pop advil, tylenol, ect.. to keep the fever down. We played Anthony and Fred that night and played well. I started off slow as I did in every match but we picked it up and won in 2 games.

Really didn't eat this weekend at all. Everything looked terrible to me and my stomach ached. I drank a lot of liquid trying to flush everything out. On Monday we played in the crossover semis at 11am. We beat Sean and Nick in 2 games. The first was a battle and the second we beat them 21-12. I again started slow but then again, I was taking 10 minute warm-ups.

In the finals we played Brad and John and they played very well. I checked out the stats and they were the top 2 sideout percentage guys for the whole tourney. Brad led in aces and was top 5 in blocks and John was 6th in digs. Pretty good. I started off slow again but we were able to bring it back to a close distance. Towards the end of the game we went up a couple of points but then Brad went back and got 2 untouched aces and we were down again. We were able to pull out the first game in overtime which was huge. In the second game we were up a couple of points and then gave up 5 in a row or so. Phil chucked a couple of balls, I got stuffed a couple of times and hit one out and bam your down a point or two. We ended up losing 21-16. In the third they were pretty much up most of the time. At 12-10 us down I sided out and went back to the service line. We were not scoring via blocks and digs so I decided to bomb my jump serve. I got an ace to tie it up at 12 all and then hit the next one out. It kind of gave us some momentum though. I got the next serve and sided out with a deep angle hit to tie it at 13 all. Then Phil stuffed John for 14-13 and then he served a net ball that caught Brad off balance and he passed it over the net. It surprised Phil who was running in but he was able to pop it up and I set him for the kill and the match. In truth, I would say they outplayed us. We were good enough or lucky enough to win in the end though and I guess that is what counts.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bronze in Italy

I have to get up in about 6 hours (445am) so this is going to be short. We took the bronze here in Roseto, Italy. It was a strange tourney as we did not play at all on Saturday.

We flew from Charleston last Sunday going to DC and then continuing into Rome. We got to Rome Monday morning and spent the day checking out the Colisium and some other ancient spots. Amazing and somewhere I would love to come back and spend some time seeing everything. Truly amazing what they were able to do back then.

The next morning we took the shuttle to Roseto which is almost 3 hours from Rome. Basically across the country. We did our usual workout stuff on Tuesday and Wend. and then started play on Thursday. In our first match we were pitted against the under 21 World Champions who are from Italy and received a Wild Card into the event. They are pretty good but have very little world tour experience. We won 14 and 17 or so. In our second match we played Heyer and Heuscher from Swissland. They had beat Mark and Stein in the first round and we exacted revenge for our compatriots winning 16 and 17.

On Friday we played the Russians and were aced around 6 or 7 times by the Bazooka but still managed to win 14 and 19. The guy can absolutely bring the gas as no one I have ever seen. He has the perfect armswing. I thought we were done for the day but it turns out we had to play the winners bracket semis. We played the very good Dutch team of Schuil and Nummedor. We played well and won 18 and 16. So it turns out that we have no game on Saturday. There are only losers bracket games. Phil and I set up a practice session with the Aussies to try and break a sweat and stay in the groove. It did not work.

Today we played two brasilian teams and lost the first and won the second. We lost to Harley and Pedro in 3 tight games. We played pretty poorly in my opinion with the exception of at the service line. Both Phil and I were ripping our jumpserves and that is pretty much what won game 1 for us and kept us close in game 2. I think I had 3 aces in a row in game 3 but we could not sustain the momentum. I was siding out poorly and digging not so good and Phil had 1 block in total for that match. We were off and they were fired up and played well. Went on to win the tourney at any rate.

In the bronze medal match we played Ricardo and Emannuel in a very uninspired match by both teams. Such a tough match to play. We won in 2 but both games were battles. Something like 21 and 24. Should have gone 3 games as we were down 24 to 23 and Phil set a ball that was pretty bad. The ref did not call it and I sided out. The brasilians were furious and rightfully so. The next two balls Phil got 2 of his 3 stuffs for the game but they were very timely and I would have to say the no call probably helped. All in all a nice week in Italy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Todd & Phil are now in Italy - Results on Todd's webpage

You can keep up with results from Italy here :


Fédération Internationale de Volleyball
Swatch FIVB 2008 Beach Volleyball World Tour
Men’s Italian Open presented by Abruzzo
Palabeach, Lungomare Trento, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy
May 13-18, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charleston W

Slightly weaker tourney in Charleston due to Casey-Matt and Rosie-Gibb being in Prague. Which if you did not already know, Rosie-Gibb won. Congrats to them. We won as well but in Charleston.

In the process we did not lose a game. We had a bye first round and then played Mihalic and Davenport. Beat them in the Thursday night game in 2 games respectively. Then played a very dangerous and good team in Wong-Olsen. Before the season I thought this would be a very good pairing. They have played teams tough but had not gotten over the hump until this tourney. We won in 2 like 16 and 17 or so but they continued through the losers and took a 3rd eventually losing in the crossover semis to us.

In our winners semi match we played Scott and Lucena. Felt good and played well. Won in 2 games. We were more consistant than them and that was pretty much the difference in the game. In the crossover we played Wong and Olsen again. The first game was tight as I was struggling a bit. We won 23-21. Second game we won 17 I think. Played better that game.

In the finals we played Mark Williams and Stein. First game was close and very good we pulled it out 21-19 but had been down 18-19. Second game was not so close. Congrats to Mark who made his first AVP Final. I am sure there will be many more in his future. Will blog from Italy next.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Huntington Beach Open

Bitter Sweet for Phil and I this past weekend. We won the actual Huntington Beach Open Tourney but then lost in the Cuervo Bonus Round Tourney on Sunday.

We got a bye first round and then beat Fonoi and Dain. Fonoi made it to $1,000,000 for his career and I must say congratulations to him for that. He is still playing very good I have to say as well. We won that game in two and then played Ring and Aaron. We beat them down in the first game but they mixed it up in the second and came out with a 21-19 victory. The third was about 5-5 and then we pulled away to win 15-9 or so. That was our Friday.

On Saturday we started off in the winners semis against Jake and Rosy. Won a very tight first game 23-21. In the second we started off with 2 chuck sets by Phil and then two errors by me. Not a good start and we continued the poor play throughout that game. In the third it was all about the controversial ref calls. The first point I was screaming about an over by Jake that the ref called for them. I still disagree with the refs interpretation as he admitted that Jake was over but felt I was not going for the ball. It was then 5-4 us and Jake hit a ball hard angle that made the line move but the ball mark was out. Another controversial call that went our way this time. There was also 4 chuck calls that were all very tight and 2 other non set calls that probably could have been called based on how the ref was calling it. From that call on Rosy and Jake seemed to be in a funk and we went up 13-7 and won 15-9 or so.

In the next round we played Mark and Stein who had grovelled through the losers. Both games were tight until the end when we pulled away to win 16 and 17. In the finals we played Hyden and Keenan. The first was not close at all as we won easily. The second we were ahead most of the game and then they pulled ahead around 17-15 or so. We pulled it together and made some good plays to win 23-21 in the second. 3 Tourneys and 3 wins. Hopefully we can keep that up.

On Sunday we came out strong against Hyden and Keenan and smoked them in the first game. In the second they smoked us by mixing up their defense and block and siding out better. The third game they had a slight lead and I had 2 costly hitting errors that ultimately cost us the match. Jake and Rosy beat Matt and Casey and went on to beat Hyden and Keenan to win the extra $25,000. Congrats to them. I did not like this format at all but I think most everyone else does. Phil and I won the 3 Cuervo events but don't win the bonus. Same goes for Misty and Kerri due to injury. Very confusing even for the players much less the fans and the casual fan.