2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
(click on picture to see larger picture)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas

Want to say Merry Christmas to everyone. Only one week away so hope you are all ready. Pretty much done shopping in our home. Kids just got out of school yesterday and are all fired up to have 2 weeks off of school. I'm running a camp for 4 days next week which is always fun for me. Then after Christmas, Phil and I are going to Brasil to do an exhibition. Somewhere in Sao Paolo but not sure where yet. Third year in a row we have done it and it has been fun. Helps we have won everytime too. Gage is about 3 times the size he was when we first got him. Probably closing in on 30 pounds now and I would guess we got him around 1o pounds. Still a great puppy and it is a lot of fun to watch the kids and Gage run around and play.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gage, Holidays and Volleyball

Gage is a little stud puppy. Whole family is having a blast with him. Fun to see the kids and the dog run around laughing and barking and generally having a great time.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Christmas and New Years. Just put up our Christmas Tree yesterday. Had to go with a small tree and put it up a couple of feet so Gage doesn't shread it into sawdust.
All kinds of crazy rumors circulating in the beach volleyball world. What a cluster. The only sure thing is that there isn't a sure thing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gage Man Groweth

The puppy has grown a ton. Doubled in size in 3 weeks. He is 10 weeks old now, 99% potty trained, uses the doggy door about half the time - especially to come into the house and has generally been a great dog with a great personality. Our older lab, Sully, now plays with him every day. They play tug of war and run all around the house sliding on the wood floors. Hilarious!

Nothing happening in the volleyball world except a whole lot of #$%@. If I get any truly positive news will update.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gage Update

Gage is a pretty cool dog. His one major foible is that he likes to chew on anything. Not a barker or a digger, at least so far, but he will chew on anything including cords, couches, shoes, plants and of course all of his toys. But in general he is learning NO! and has been doing well in regards to potty training. He is only 8 weeks old but is a fairly good sized little guy. And he just crawled out the doggy door for the first time. Nice!
Big weekend for the family. Nate is in semis for peewee football and Hannah has soccer tourney. Nate's football team is technically undefeated but they did lose a game. It's just that that team had to forfeit all of their games due to inelegible player or something like that. Hannah's team is also undefeated with one tie. Should be fun.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Puppy

We got a new puppy on Wednesday. Little Gage is a yellow labrador retriever. We got him at 7 weeks old and he is one cute little guy. He has fit into our family with no problems. Really kind of amazing. No whining at all. He is a puppy so we have been getting up a couple of times a night to take him outside to do his business but he seems to be really comfortable going outside to do so. Only had a few accidents inside and they were our fault for not paying attention. After only 3 days he is already going to the door when he wants to go outside to do his business or get a drink of water. Easiest puppy I have ever had.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's Game Day

Or so says my son Nate who has his last regular season football game. Rainy slow Saturday at home. Dumped rain last night and now slowly clearing up with low clouds all over the mountains. Pretty scene. Hannah has her first Jr. High Rodeo of the year. Going to be muddy and soggy in the arena. Should be fun to watch though. I'll just be a spectator today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Relaxing

Nothing going on for me but relaxing and hanging with the family. Lots of soccer games/practice and football games/practice. Keeping in shape by running and what not and been splitting some wood to get the wood pile back up to snuff. Had a chill birthday with the wife and kids. Mexico City was a nice gig. Hope to do something like that again with the promoters. Good people and fun to work with.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in volleyball exhibition Mexico City, Mexico, 9-10 October 2010


Saturday, October 9, 2010
  • Exhibition Game (2:00-3:00PM)
Sunday, October 10, 2010
  • Final Volleyball Game (11:00AM - 12:00Noon)
LOCATION :  Beach Volleyball Area setup next to the Diana's Monument (Fuente de la Diana Cazadora), at the intersection of Paseo de La Reforma and Sevilla

ATHLETES : Todd Rogers, Phil Dalhausser, Misty May Treanor, Nicole Branagh

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cincinnati Vibe

Great event in Cincinnati at the Hahana Beach Park and props to the promoters, Mario and Bob. I think all of the players had a great time and look forward to coming back to play. They put on a first class event with an amazing atmosphere. They have a brand new facility with great sand a bar/restaurant area that was the VIP area for center court and a great layout. The place was rockin' from Friday night onward. If you are ever in the 'nati, make sure to go check out Hahana Beach Park.

Phil and I took 2nd to Sean and John. We had a fun event though mixing it up, laughing and playing with the crowd, refs and opponents. It wasn't a "high dollar" event with $40,000 prize purse per gender so everyone was in lets play hard but have fun mode. For Phil and I we played Matt Heath and Nick Lucena in the first round and won 18 and 18. They served Phil every ball and were dropping on him and doing fun stuff. I set a few low and tight balls, on accident of course, when Nick was up blocking Phil. Half the time the three of them were laughing in the middle of the play at something one of them said. Next round we played Matt Olson and Brad Keenan. Little more serious match as they were a new team trying to impress one another as to their abilities. We won the first easily and were up big in the second when I layed an egg. We lost the second in overtime and then the third I pulled it together enough to win. In the crossover semis we played Casey Jennings and Jake Gibb. We won the first in a tight one, got smoked the second and then won the third super tight. Casey was playing the left and was pretty much money from that side. He is ballin' right now. In the finals we played okay but John and Sean were better. They beat us 15 or so in the first and then the second we were up a couple of points in the teens but they came back and tied it up at 19 all and won 24-22. It was fun though as Geeter was making fun of everyone on the court and the players were laughing and having a good time. Still competitive but fun. The funnest part for me was blocking. Phil and I split block the entire tournament and I jumped served the whole tourney too. Have not blocked that much since I played with Dax way back in the day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser at Cincinnati Players Championship, 3-5 September 2010

2010 Cincinnati Players Championship

Hahana Beach, 7605 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227 
(Just West of the Newtown Bridge), 513-272-1990

16-team main draw tournament

Phil Dalhausser, Todd Rogers, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, Nicole Branagh, Annett Davis, Jake Gibb, Jenny Jordan, Jen Kessy, April Ross, Angie Akers, Dianne DeNecochea, Matt Fuerbringer, Brittany Hochevar, John Hyden, Casey Jennings, Brad Keenan, Nick Lucena, Sean Scott, Tyra Turner, and Rachel Wacholder, along with other volleyball stars.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE :
Qualifier

   Thursday, Sept. 2 Day Session 7 AM – 7 PM
Main Draw

   Friday, Sept 3 Day Session 9:30 AM - 6 PM
   Friday Sept 3 Evening Session 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
   Saturday, Sept 4 Day Session 11 AM – 5 PM
   Saturday, Sept 4 Evening Session 7:30 PM -10:30 PM
   Sunday, Sept 5 Day Session 9:45 AM - 4:30 PM (Finals at approx. 2:00 & 3:30)

Tickets : http://www.cincyticket.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=357


MORE Information : http://Volleyball.ORG/2010Cincinnati

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser at Barefoot Wine AVPNext Championship Cup in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 28 August 2010

BAREFOOT WINE AVPNEXT CHAMPIONSHIP CUP
Bradford Beach
2400 N Lincoln Memorial Dr.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Saturday, 28 August 2010
9:00 am - Single elimination tournament featuring 48 Barefoot teams
2:00 pm - Barefoot Championships for Men (center court) and Women (court 3)
3:30 pm - Kerri Walsh/Rachel Wacholder Scott vs. AVPNext Women's Champions
4:30 pm - Todd Rogers/Phil Dalhausser vs. AVPNext Men's Champions
6:00 pm - Live music by the X-Cleavers

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Todd Rogers interviewed by Bev Oden

From Beverly Oden, your Guide to Volleyball
This week I had a one-on-one with The Professor himself, Todd Rogers.

Q & A with Todd Rogers
Todd Rogers is one half of the top U.S. men's beach volleyball duo, an Olympic gold medalist and the recently crowned winner of the FIVB World Tour with partner Phil Dalhausser. This week, I had a one-on-one interview with Todd and got to ask him about his thoughts on the collapse of the AVP, what he thinks needs to happen next, what the future looks like and the pro boycott of the Manhattan Beach tournament. Here is the interview in Todd's own words.

Finland

Won in Finland but not without some sparks and fun. Beautiful island by the way. Wish I had more time to check it out. We went to Stockholm for a day to do media for the promoter in Aland so didn't get into Aland until late Tuesday night. Then Wednesday was pouring rain all day long and didn't feel like exploring in the cold rain. Thursday through Sunday was pretty nice though. A touch of wind but no big deal.

Played two matches vs. a Swedish team and then Estonia. Sweden we smoked in the first and then they were up 15-9 in the second as we got a bit complacent. Came back and won 21-18 though. Estonia we were in control by a couple of points most of the game and won by a couple of points. Friday we played only one game vs. Brazil's Benjamin/Bruno. They played great in the first game and won. Second game we were smoking them by 6 or so points when Benjamin hurt his shoulder. He finished the second game and then forfeited the third game to us. Saturday we played one match against China. Had not played them since we lost to them in the finals of Moscow, Russia. We played very well and beat them handily in 2 games.

Sunday we played the Spaniards in the semis. We again played very well and won both games by 5 or so points. In the finals things got more interesting as we played Marcio/Ricardo from Brasil. The first game was back and forth. Neither Marcio or I were siding out very well so there were a lot of points. We ended up winning the game in overtime 25-23. In the second game at 4-4 we lost a controversial call and I went balistic. Not sure why, but I can tell you it felt really good. No hard feelings towards the ref either. Good ref who in my opinion made a bad call. We ended up getting smoked in that game as I was in the weeds. Sometimes it is good to get it all out in one shot. I collected myself in the third game and we ended up winning 15-13 on a short line shot I shot over Ricardo to sideout. Good way to end a long FIVB season.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Big Guy on the Big Court

Lots of speculation on how Phil would do on the big court. I have my opinion on that and will share it but first lets take a look at examples that would be applicable to Phil as well as go over his skillset and how that would apply to the big court. By the way, all of this is a moot point seeing as how the professional rules are short court, but I have a fair amount of time to kill here in Finland and figured I would exercise my brain a bit. Domestically speaking it is really a moot point as the more important issue is having a legitimate professional tour that will train American players to be in a position to get a Gold Medal at the Olympics.

First off, examples of players that can be used to somewhat compare Phil too from the big court era. There are a fair amount of them to choose from. I'll pick Pat Powers, Mike Dodd, Tim Hovland, Rob Heidger and of course Mike Whitmarsh. All 5 of these players were a tall 6'5 to a small 6'7. Phil is a small 6'9 for reference so he has all of them by 2 or 3 inches in height. All of these guys are pretty agile for their size and all of them tend to be of the skinnier variety so are not weighing in at 250 pounds. Much like Phil not weighing 200 pounds soaking wet. All of them were fairly successful on the big court and won multiple tourneys with the exception of Heidger. He never won an AVP event but did win a USAV event. PP won a dozen or so events and of course Whitty, Hov and Dodd are legends of the game. So moving on to Phil's skillset on any court, let's compare vs. what the 5 aforementioned players skillsets were on the big court.

Passing: Phil is a very under rated passer mostly due to the fact that I get served 90%+ of the balls. I can tell you that his technique is excellent from a coaches perspective and I think he would have been an absolutely dominating outside hitter on the indoor side of the game but that is another story. Compared to the 5 other guys, the only guy I would probably give the nod over Phil is MD. I would say Phil is a better passer than Heidger and PP with no question and about on the same level as Hov and Whitty. I realize that those guys had to pass more court than Phil currently does, but Phil grew up playing on the old school court as well. From a purely technical standpoint he ranks ahead of all of them in my book.

Setting: Have to look at this from two points of view if looking at it from the big court point of view. Clearly Phil has better setting hands than all 5 of these guys. Heidger would rank second and all the rest of the guys were basically bump setters. But you also have to look at it from a bump setting perspective as well. Right now, when Phil bump sets, he has to be exact since the court is smaller and I need a better set than most to sideout or score a point. I think his bump setting is actually pretty good. But, I think he would struggle the most with this skill to start off with. I would probably rank him ahead of PP but behind the rest of the guys. I know Whitty was an excellent bump setter as was Dodd. Probably the top two. Hov and Heidger were good bump setters as well.

Hitting and Shots: I think clearly Phil's hitting is better than all of them except maybe PP. I would rank him ahead of PP though as Phil's range is amazing. PP could hit the ball harder than Phil though. Heidger and Hov had wet noodles for arms and Whitty's wasn't much better. Dodd could hit a pretty pacey ball but I don't think he hit as hard as Phil. Shot wise Phil would have to get better for sure. He has an excellent deep line shot and an okay cut shot. He would probably have to develop a few more shots in his repertoire. Although I don't think PP had great shots nor did Whitty. Dodd and Heidger had good shots and Hov was solid as well.

Blocking: Phil is as good if not better than all of them. (Dodd blocked some but I see him as a great defender) Phil is clearly huge at the net. Probably bigger than all the other guys although I have seen pictures of PP and Whitty in their prime and they were way up there. Phil is also a very good reader as to whether the hitter is going to shoot the ball or hit the ball. Where Phil would suffer to start off with is pealing off the net. He worked hard on it this past year and is much better than he was. But I would put him way behind Whitty, Hov and Heidger. Can't speak for PP on this one. I do believe that with a year or two of practice and games where he is working on dropping off the net, that he would be on par with those other guys. Dropping off the net is athleticism and Phil has a lot of it just like those other guys.

Serving: Only PP had a great arm and ability to bang a jump serve out of all 5 of the guys mentioned. Hov, Whitty, Dodd and Heidger all had below average jump serves. Phil would be above all 4 of those guys and I know his touch from the service line and ability to spot the ball is really good on the little court so I would imagine it would be even better on the big court.

Others:
Defense - Phil is pretty quick and light on his feet and I think he could play defense behind a block pretty well. Give Dodd a pass on this one since he is one of the greats at defense. I think he would be better than Heidger and PP for sure. Whitty never played much so tough to say but he was the last guy cut on an NBA team so you know he is athletic as all hell. It pains me to say it, but Hov was a ridiculous athlete so I am sure his defense is pretty damn good and I would give him the nod over Phil.
Transition Setting: Give all of these guys the nod over Phil for now. Much like bump setting, it is something you have to do over and over again. Phil is pretty good but there just are not as many opportunities to bump set in the current game. If Phil got his hands on the ball then clearly he is way better than all the rest. I think he would quickly catch up though with a year under his belt.

Don't think I forgot anything unless you want to go to the intangibles like mental toughness ect... Don't think I want to go there so will leave it alone. End result for me is I don't think Phil would be as dominant on the big court as he is on the smaller court, but I do think he would immediately be one of the best players and within a year or two of playing exclusively on the big court I would rank him in the top 3. His athleticism is NBAesque and certainly on par with any of the 5 guys I mentioned.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

2010 Manhattan Beach Open

I am 110% on board with the players who are boycotting the Manhattan Beach Open. I grew up on the old school court and am one of a very few players that played on the old school court on the AVP. I enjoyed playing on the old school court with the old school rules when they were the accepted rules of all beach volleyball. The old school is no longer the way the pro ranks play the game. Mike Dodd wrote a fantastic email to the city of Manhattan Beach detailing why the MB Open should be a current pro tour format, not something from 10 or more years ago. Here is an excerpt from that:

The legacy of the Manhattan Open is that it is the ultimate test, to determine the best players in the sport of Beach Volleyball. The tournament and Mr. Saikley in each and every era submitted to the prevailing rules of the day because (for whatever reason, be it cultural or institutional) those were the rules under which the best players were training and preparing.

I agree with Kerri Walsh, Jake Gibb and April Ross. The Manhattan Beach Open is not a pro tourney if you are using antiquated rules. It is an amateur event that is run in the throwback style. A great niche that I personally love and enjoy, but not a professional tournament as determined by the last 10 years of professional tournaments held throughout the USA and the World.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kristiansand, Norway

First match in Kristiansand we played the Under 19 or former U-19 World Champions from the Ukraine. Pretty good young team. Little bit small for the world tour but I can see why they won the U-19. Good ball control and didn't make many errors. We won in 2 games and in the second game I went up and blocked. It worked as we were tied with them and we scored 4 or 5 points over the course of the next 3 or 4 serves we had. They hit out and Phil scooped a couple of balls. Stuffed a guy in transition as well. In our second match we played Georgia. Tight first game that we came in strong mid-game through the end. The second game the big guy played great. Usually serve him but he was playing so well that we served the little guy and ended up winning the third game because of it.

We played Norway on Friday evening. Probably the loudest match and most attended match of the tourney. The fans are pretty close to the court and the speakers for the music ect... are right on the court so you can't hear a thing. Gave up trying to talk to Phil during that match. Just used hand signals. Won in 2 games though. Saturday we played Harley/Pedro in the winners semis and won in 2 games.

Sunday we played Marcio/Ricardo in the semis. As usual it was a gnarly 3 game battle. Seems like all of our matches against them are crazy that way. We won the first 21-18 and they the second by the same score. The second we went down in the beginning like 9-2 or something like that. Got it back to an 18-17 us serving switch but they scored a point and 2 sideouts for game. The third was back and forth. We were down 9-6 receiving but made a mini comeback to win 17-15. In the finals we played Harley/Pedro again. We were up the entire game. Started off strong in the first up 13-8 at the timeout. They came back behind Harley's serving to have a chance to tie it at 18 but Phil stuffed Harley after he had scooped me and we ended that game with 2 straight points. In the second we jumped out to a 9-2 lead and never looked back. Harley still had like 3 or 4 aces in the game but we were just up by to much.

Some notable finishes were the Kiwis taking a 5th and upsetting Marcio/Ricardo and the Chinese guys in back to back games. Good on them. Also, Nick and Matt took a 7th. Lost to Pedro/Harley and the a tough one to Marcio/Ricardo 15-13 in the third. Nick retweaked his leg in that match unfortunately and he was visibly struggling to jump and move.

Really nice town. Similar to Santa Barbara or maybe Santa Cruz. Kind of touristy downtown area and a nice harbor. As always the people are very nice here in Norway and the scenery is really beautiful. I love the rock formations and stuff here from all the iceberg/glacial stuff that happened ages ago. All in all a good time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Updated 2010 Schedule

Updated 2010 Schedule  for Todd Rogers & Phil Dalhausser.  

Upcoming : Norway, Finland, Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Mexico City.

On Friday the AVP announced the termination of  the 2010 season.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stare Jablonki

Note: If any of you are interested Tom, the man who runs my website, was able to retrieve my post from Long Beach. It is about 5 posts below this one.

Stare Jablonki is very similar in beauty to Klagenfurt, Austria. The event is set on a lake in the woods. The difference is that Klagenfurt is a town of like 100,000 people or something like that. Stare Jablonki can't have much more than 250 residents. It is a tiny village. Pretty cool that they pack 'em in for the weekend.
It was a good weekend for Phil and I. We never lost a match, lost one set the whole tourney but that set ended up being a record breaker for the men's game. In pool play we first played a young Polish team. Good players but inexperienced as you can imagine. We won 19 and 15. I was impressed though. The Polish Volleyball Federation is clearly putting a lot of money into their beach programs as they have a lot of really good young talented players coming out. The top Polish team was the #3 seed in the tourney. They ended up at 25th losing 3 tough matches but one of them broke his big toe or something like that. Our second match we played Switzerland and won in 2 tough games. Our third match was against Pedro and Harley. Really high level match from both teams. We won 19 and 24.
In single elimination we had a bye first round and then played the Netherlands just like in Austria. The games were not quite as tight as in Austria. We played better and won both games by a couple of points. We played Alison and Emanuel in the next match, a round earlier than we played them in Austria. They were neck and neck until about 16 and then we pulled away in both games.
On Sunday we played probably the highest level match we have played this year and probably top 5 if not top 3 I have ever played in. The semis were against Marcio and Ricardo. The first set we lost 41-39. Longest set ever in men's play surpassed only when Kerri/Misty beat Larissa/Juliana 42-40 in Acupulco in 2006. Crazy high level game. We came back and won the next two games 21-19 and 15-12.
In the finals we played Reckerman and Brink from Germany. It was a tight match but we prevailed 19 and 19 in front of a packed house. Energy from the crowd was great. Not quite at the level of Klagenfurt but edging up there.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser at FIVB Beach Volleyball Tournament in Kristiansand, Norway, 12-15 August 2010

Current Day and Time in Norway :

Austria

Austria was as always an awesome event. A little bit of rain from Thursday through Saturday morning but other than that beautiful weather. My brother and his wife came to watch from Japan and it was nice to have their support there. I know they thoroughly enjoyed it and are hoping on coming back next year. Had some good battles all weekend long and none closer or better than with Jake and Rosy in our first match. Usual game going 3 against them. They ended with a 5th place finish which should put them out of our pool area in Poland. Second match was vs. the Austrians on center court with the crazy Austrian crowd. They played well and gave us all we could handle. Environment is so fun to play in with that crowd cheering for their home team. Third game was a forfeit.
Elimination saw us get a bye in the first round and then play the Netherlands. Won in 2 tight games. Reindeer and Richard are great guys and I have the utmost respect for them. Transitioned from the indoor game to the beach and were immediately one of the top teams out here. Good to see another country winning outside of the usual ones winning tourneys. They have been a bit banged up this year so have not done as well but still a formidable team. Then we played Spain for the millionth time and then Emanuel and Alison for the millionth time. Spain we played well and won in 2 games. I think they might be a little banged up as well. The Brasilians were tough as usual. Emanuel tweeked his knee in the 1st game and we won by 4 or so points right after that. In the second game he was struggling and we were up by 6 or more points. They made a furious comeback though to have a swing to tie it up at 20 all. Fortunately for us, Emanuel hit it wide down the line on the left side for a 21-19 victory.
In the finals we played Matt and Nick. They had a great tourney taking down 3 Brasilian teams out of the 4 elimination games they played. Not an easy feat and impressive! Both games were very tight with great rallies. Not a ton of blocks or aces but a lot of digs by Nick and I as you would expect seeing as how we trained a lot with them this past offseason. I think the crowd would have rather seen 2 different countries, but I think we gave them there moneys worth with some of the crazy rallies.
Klagenfurt, still the best tourney. Oh, and they brought back the amazing food for the players for lunch. Players were stoked about that.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Long Beach

I just wrote a long post on Long Beach and of course right as I finished the internet went out on me. So, I am not going to retype it all. Needless to say, we played pretty well. Finals were fun to play and from what I am told, fun to watch. The word for the weekend really wasn't about the play though. It was about the viability of the AVP in the coming months and years. I hope to touch base on that as I find things out but to date and I don't have much information to go on. When I do I will post something.

Long Beach

Long Beach was a strange tourney. With all the uncertainty surrounding the AVP it had a very rough air around the whole tourney. Would the players have a place to play? Would the AVP survive? Would we get paid for Long Beach? Essentially, what is going to happen? For players like Phil and I and most of the other top teams we can rely on the fact that the FIVB is not going anywhere. It is not our first choice due to all the travel and being away from family, friends and the comforts of home. However, they pay well, they pay on time and they have a lot of money. They are one of the richest sports organizations in the world and that is a comforting thought if you are a beach volleyball player looking for a place to play. That being said, only a handful are allowed to play so if you are not well positioned or willing to take a serious financial risk, you are looking at other job options.


The tournament itself was smooth. Only 16 teams for this event. We played well pretty much the whole tourney. Played Brazao/Dykstra in the first round and won in 2 games. 1st game beat them badly and then the second game was close. Then played Prosser/Mayer, a rematch from the finals in Hermosa. They were actually up 16-14 serving in both games but we went on a couple of scoring runs at that point and won 16 and 18. Our third match we played Watchfogel and Strickland. Beat them in 2 games. Can't remember the scores though. Think they were in the high teens.


Sunday we played Jake and Rosy. Phil made some sick digs and we had some great rallies in the match. We won a tight first one and then the second one we won going away. In the finals we played Sean and John for the 4th time this year. Game 1 we came out a bit sluggish but they were really mixing things up. Serving me short to the pin, John blocking instead of Sean and just basically really mixing their schemes up. It worked as they won 21-17. In the second game we steadied out and pulled ahead by a couple of points mid-game and maintained that throughout. In the third game it was tied at 5-5 when we went on a 9 point run. A sideout, couple of errors, digs and blocks and it was 14-5. End score was 15-6. Great to win but really overshadowed with all the hoopla surrounding the AVP. Hopefully this won't be my last AVP tournament post ever.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hermosa #1

Nice to be playing back in the states and a two day tourney to boot. Love those two day tourneys. Wish they were all like that. Throws a little of the ole time must be in shape flare. Not completely ole time as those guys were in amazing shape playing matches that could last longer than two hours. But at least we are playing more than one or two matches a day.

Hermosa was pretty epic. Weather was hot and sunny and the crowds were out in full force. I love playing in Hermosa. I would say it is my favorite sand to play defense in. We won all 6 games but not without tight ones and controversy.

On Saturday we played Chris Icaza and Brook Billings. I played against Ish (Sean Icaza), Chris' dad way back in the day in an A and AA tourney in Santa Barbara and Sorrento. He smacked me down. Now I am playing against his son. Crazy old am I! I got a little revenge on Ish by beating Chris in two games. Second round we played Marchewka and Carambula. Won in two. Adrian Carambula has arguably the best sky ball in the game! Thing goes up to the moon and back with back spin. Gave Phil some fits. In our third game we played Casey and Brad. Went 3 games. In every game we had a 3 or 4 point lead towards the end of the game but gave up a bunch of points each time. First game we lost 21-19 after being ahead 18-14. Next game we were ahead 18-14 again and barely won 21-19. 3rd game we were up 10-7 and they tied it up at 14 all. Controversy set in with a net call on me that was overturned after I went ballistic. Casey then went ballistic and frankly rightfully so. Up ref called a net on me and then conferred with his down ref who said no he didn't net it was the ball. Changed the call to a sideout for Phil and I and Brad hit the next ball out.

Sunday we played Mayer/Prosser in the winners semis. Won in 2 games although fairly close games. Played Casey and Brad in the crossover match. Won in 2 games. Fairly easily in the first game but the second was a battle. We were down game point about 4 times before I served a float ace up the middle and then Phil stuffed Casey. In the finals we played Mayer/Prosser again. They had a great tourney beating Rosy/Jake in the second round and then Watchfogel/Strickland in the 3rd round. After they lost to us they played Sean/John and beat them 16-14 in the third game. Then beat Nygaard/Olsen in the crossovers. The finals were not so good for them though. We beat them 14 and 11. We played well and it was their first finals. 5th in a row for Phil and I at Hermosa. Love playing there.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gstaad

Gstaad was good for Phil and I as we won our second cow bell. Didn't start out that well though.

In Pool Play on the Thursday we were once again in Jake and Rosy's pool for the umpteenth time. We lost to them in 3 games. Killed them in the first, lost a very tight second game in overtime and then they smoked us in the third. Rosy was scooping balls and both guys were siding out like champs. In our second match that day we played a young Polish team. We didn't play great but won in 2 games. On Friday we played the Czech team and won in 3 games to take 2nd in our pool. No bye to 9th so we had to play our first single elimination round game Friday afternoon. We had a good draw playing the Spanish qualifier team of Mesa/Lario. It was a tight game but we prevailed 18 and 19.

On Saturday morning we played the Kiwis who had won their pool. Pretty good draw there too as they are a good team but had played in the qualifier. We won in two games. We then again had Jake and Rosy as they had won our pool to receive a bye and then beat Pedro and Harley in their first elimination game. We were supposed to play at 6pm but a crazy mountain rain/hail storm came in at 4pm for about 2 hours. Pretty cool to watch as the hail was the biggest I have ever seen. Ended up clearing up around 6pm and we played at 7pm. First game was back and forth and we ended up winning by a couple of points. Second game they came out strong and took a 4 point lead or so and never relinquished it to win going away. The third game was back and forth the whole time. They scored a late point and were up 14-12. I sided out to make it 13. Served Rosy and Jake threw the set to tie up the game at 14's. No complaints as it was definetely a bad set. Rosy sided out the next ball as did I. Phil served Jake and stuffed him for us to go up 16-15. Jake sided out the next ball but I did as well. Served Jake again and Rosy chucked the set for game. Wasn't quite as bad as Jake's set but was bad according to how the ref had called the game. I had a chuck set in the 1st game. I told the ref it sucked to end the game on a chuck set. He agreed but what could he do. He kept the standard the same the whole game regardless of score.
On Sunday we played the top Polish team in the semis. We played very well and beat them pretty easily. In the finals we exacted a little bit of revenge from the Germans. David and Eric started off pretty bad having lost their first two matches in pool play but then had fired it up and made it all the way to the finals. Phil and I were remembering Norway as we played them and we played very well to beat them 18 and 15. Very satisfactory ending to the trip.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gstaad vs. Klagenfurt

Just played in Gstaad, Switzerlandand it is such a beautiful place to have an event. Probably the most beautiful of all the places we play. Mountains with snow on them in the distance, rushing rivers and generally beautiful scenery everywhere you look. Pretty idyllic place is Gstaad, Switzerland.

The tourney is really nice too. Looking at the total package I would say Gstaad and Klagenfurt are neck and neck for best tourney on the schedule. Location: They both have great positives. Klagenfurt has the lake and the dock which is really hard to beat and although it isn't in the Alps, it is still in mountainous country. Gstaad is in the mountains and it is a smaller quaint village. Slight advantage to Klagenfurt. Food: Used to be off the hook in Austria but has been scaled back since the recession hit. This is where Klagenfurt really stood shoulders above everyone else. It is still very good but they no longer are way ahead. Every year Gstaad food has become better and better to where I would say it is now on par with Klagenfurt. I would say it is a tie now. Hotel: Klagenfurt used to lag big time on this. The Rokohof was nice but was a couple of miles from the site. They have since upgraded to a hotel that is very close and modern for internet ect... Gstaad has a great hotel in the Bernerhof that is very close to center court. Rooms are really nice with balconies and has a very nice feel to them. Slight advantage to Gstaad. Fans: Klagenfurt has rabid beach volley fans and they come out rain or shine. Gstaad has great fans as well although I don't think they are quite as rabid as the Austrians. I would have to give a slight advantage to Klagenfurt here. Intangibles: Location of the center court, village and side courts is all pretty much a tie to me. Sand is about the same. One thing that Klagenfurt does have over Gstaad is entertainment. There is a lot more to do in Klagenfurt. They have a waterslide right at center court and they have a lot of interactive stuff in the village. Zip lines, rock climbing ect... They also have a Red Bull boat to take people out on the lake and fun stuff like that. Advantage Klagenfurt for intangibles. I think I would still rank Klagenfurt as the best tourney but Gstaad is right behind them and every year it seems like they are closing the gap. Kudos to Rudi, the promoter, and his staff.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Stavanger, Norway

Bronze in Norway. Felt like we let one slip away. Lost a tough match in the semis and if we had won we would have been playing Norway for the Gold. Great tourney for the Norwegians on their home turf though. Cool to see all the Norwegian fans going crazy over their team. I am sure the promoter was on cloud 9.

Pool play was a bit rocky for us. Played Matt and Nick first game and went 3 with them. Beat them soundly in the first and then the second they steadied out to win. The third had a million rallies in it but we ended up prevailing. Later that day we played the Russians and they beat us pretty good. Tight first game and then the second they served us off the court. Igor has a gnarly serve when he has it going. Next day we played Norway and beat them in two fairly handily. Came out 2nd in our pool behind Russia who went 3-0 so we didn't get the bye.

In the single elim playoffs on Saturday, we started off against Switzerland. Played poorly in the first. Could not convert a lot of point chances. Picked it up in the 2nd and 3rd to win the match. Next game played the 2nd Latvian team. They were super scrappy and gave us all we could handle. Left sider is a lefty who is really smooth and the right side guy is the same guy we played and lost to in the Olympics. He scooped a lot of balls but we were able to win 18 and 19. Third match that day we played Emanuel and Allison. I must say we played really well. Was our best game of the tourney by far and it had to be to beat those guys. We won in 2 with the first game being not very close. The 2nd game being a battle where we scored a real one to win 21-19.
Sunday we lost to the Germans in the semis. They played really well. The first I played poorly and we pretty much got smoked. The second we picked it up and won. The third was close. I passed a ball about 20 feet off the net at 13-12 down and then hit a waffle ball about 20 feet out to give them match ball. Sided out the next one but then David hit a knuckle pokey deep angle over Phil as I went to the cut shot. Shot landed on the line. Gutsy call but it worked. In the bronze we came out and played solid ball. The Spaniards had just been upset by the Norwegians about 45 minutes earlier so I think they were still in a bit of a funk. Not there best game for sure.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Belmar

First win ever in Jersey! Played there a lot of times but never won. Other than the sea shells, I really like the sand in Belmar. Pretty deep on center court. Although I heard the outer courts were much more packed. Center and court 1 were deep though. Weather was warm but I have played in Belmar when it was hotter and even more humid. Hottest we have played in this year though. The finals were probably the warmest of the weekend. The wind was coming onshore and it was a nice cooling breeze. Then as the finals started the wind stopped, it became super humid and then it started up again but coming offshore. I was told that when it becomes offshore it is a hot and humid wind. Experienced that first hand.

Played 3 games on Saturday. Billings and McKenzie first round. Fairly tough first round matchup. We won in 2 games but the first was pretty close. Brook Billings went to SMHS, my old high school. Used to go watch him play when I was in college. Second match we played Tramblie and Marchewka. Phil put on a clinic on how to block vs. Tramblie. Must have had at least 10 blocks, maybe 15. Third round we played Casey and Brad. Tough first game. Casey scooped me a bunch and converted. Second game not as close.

Sunday we played 3 more games. Watchfogel and Strickland in the winners semis. Beat them in 2 games. Felt in control for the most part but close games. Then Wong and Patterson in the semis. Tough match. Killed 'em the first game and then lost a tight 2nd game, although we were down a bunch of points late in the second. Made a comeback and tied it up at 20 but couldn't get over the hump to win in 2. The third was back and forth. Ended up winning on a block by Phil on Kevin. The finals we played really well. The first we were up 18-14 but gave up several points to let them back in. Phil got scooped, I hit in the net and then Hyden scooped me and put it away to make it 18-17. We sided out but so did they. Had a long rally and I ended up hitting a line shot out to tie it up at 19 all. Sided out and then won 21-19. In the second game we won 21-15 and had everything going our way.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prague

Whew! That was tiring. Losing in the second round of the winners sucks. We played the maximum number of matches you can play in a tourney over the 4 days we played. Couple that with playing on Monday in Russia and it makes for a long week. Needless to say, I am tired and sore and it didn't help to jump on a 24 hour plane ride the next day. Good to be home though.

On Thursday we played Australia in our first match and should have lost. We won 15-13 in the third but were down by 4 points during that game. In our second match we lost to Jake and Rosy in 2 games. They smoked us the first and the second was 22-20. They played well. We were sluggish and slow and they were on point. So were the aussies for that matter. They served us very tough and got a lot of aces and shanks as did Jake and Rosy. Especially Rosy. His jump serve was on and was creating point opportunities for them.

On Friday we started our long climb through the losers. We played Georgia first and beat them in 2. Then played a Russian team and beat them in two. Played our third game against another Russian team and won in 2 tight games. Small note here, Russia had 4 teams in the main draw. 3 through the qualifier. Impressive. Look for them to continue that trend over the next couple of years and become another strong country like Brasil, Germany and the USA. Most of the guys that are qualifying are under 25.

On Saturday the matches got much tougher. We played the Spaniards in the 7th place match and won in 3. They had match point in the second game but I squeaked one by Pablo and then we scored 2 in a row. The third was tight as well. On match point for us, they served me and I jousted with Pablo, I lost the joust but covered it and set Phil on two. He squeaked, and I do mean squeaked it by Pablo for the kill and match. We then played Jake and Rosy and beat them in 3 games. We won the first, they the second and the third was tight until a bad call went against them. Phil had a micro touch on a ball that landed out of bounds after a long rally. They went ballistic. I think the score was 7-6 at the time. We went up 10-6 after that and won 15-11. In our third and final match of Saturday we played Brink and Reckermann. We played well and won in 2 games convincingly to make it to the finals.

Sunday was the finals and we played Allison and Emanuel. The first we played almost flawlessly. We sided out, served, blocked, defended ect... all very well. In the second everything switched as they were on and we were not. However, at the end of the second we scored some points and I straightened out my sideout game to shift momentum our way. We carried that into the third and went up 4-0 to start. We carried that through to the end winning 15-11.

Prague as a city is really cool. After the final we went to Prague Castle and a Bridge built 700 years ago and still servicing foot traffic and the old town square. Really cool place and recommend it if ever you can get there. Wish I had had more time to explore.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Russia

Moscow was a good event. We took 2nd in a tough loss in the finals to the chinese. The weather cooperated for the most part. A little rain and a day or two of hard winds but mostly sunny and mild.
Played pool play on Thursday and Friday. Standard that we would play an American team. This time it was Casey and Brad like it was in Poland. We beat them in 2 games on Thursday for our only match of the day. On Friday we played Kazakastan. Crushed them in the first and then went 3 with them. Pretty good team considering I had never heard of or seen them before. We also played a team from Norway and beat them in 2 games to win our pool and get a bye in the first round of single elimination playoffs.
On Saturday we didn't play at all. We practiced, did some media stuff and got work done by our medical team. On Sunday we played Jake/Rosy and won in 2 games in a super windy game. Our next match we beat a team from Germany who had just beaten Matt and Nick. Kind of weird but the semis and finals were on Monday. In the semis we played Reckermann and Brink from Germany and beat them in 2 games. In the other semi the chinese beat Casey and Brad. They ended up taking a 4th place finish for Brad's best finish out here on the FIVB. In the finals the chinese played great. They took the first game and were ahead by a lot during most of it. In the second game we won by a couple of points. The third game was close the whole way. We had some chances and even one match point but couldn't get the final one we needed to win. Chinese guys are great and were generally considered to be the best team on tour to never win an event. Now they no longer have that moniker. Congrats to them.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Huntington Beach

Phil and I won in Huntington Beach but for me that was the secondary story. You see, back sometime in late 2009 I received an email through my website from this random guy. He said he had a brother in Utah that was a beach volleyball player that was battling cancer. Now I get a lot of random emails through my website so I try to sort through the junk and the real stuff as best I can. I looked this guy up on bvbinfo.com and sure enough he was a young and aspiring beach volleyball player. His brother said that he really admired Phil and I and asked if we could send him a letter to lift his spirits as he was down in the doldrums. So I sent Phil the email and both of us sent him an email letter encouraging him to continue the fight. I also told him that hopefully in the near future I would see him across the net from me on the AVP Tour. Well, in the first round of this past weekend in Huntington, Phil and I played Mike Nelson, the guy who was battling cancer that we sent letters to. Pretty damn cool. His parents were there to support him and we were able to meet with them and take some photos.

Beach Volleyball is a very tight knit community and it was so cool to see Mike on the other side of the net knowing what he had gone through. Congratulations Mike. Hopefully we'll be seeing plenty more of you over the course of the year.

As for the tournament, we cruised on Friday with two 2 game wins. Saturday was much tougher as Wong/Patterson pushed us to 3 games as did Jake and Rosy. On Sunday we played Wong/Patterson again and beat them in two games. They are starting to gel as a team and I have to give kudos to Kevin as he is playing some of the best ball I have seen him play. As Casey gets better at defense this team is just going to get better and better. In the finals we beat John and Sean in 3 games. The third game Phil turned up the heat on his jump serve and that was the difference.

Also in the finals Phil came out with a Ranse Jones t-shirt on. Ranse is a friend of Phil's and a part time AVP Player. He recently had a brain anuerism (sorry if I mispelled) and is in critical condition. Really good guy. We are all pulling for you Ranse. Get better and we hope to see you out on the court again.

With stories like Mike Nelson's and Ranse Jones, it is easy to see that the game really becomes secondary to the lives of guys like this.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Todd and Phil at AVP Tournament in Huntington Beach, California 4-6 June 2010


AVP web page
        Men's Final      - 1:00-2:30 p.m.      -  ABC    
        Women's Final - 11:00am-12:30pm  - ESPN2
          times shown are PDT, check your local listings

      Sunday, May 30, 2010

      Myslowice, Poland

      Hello from beautiful Myslowice Poland. It actually is really nice here. In truth, it wasn't what I expected. It is essentially forest, rivers, lakes all around. Very pretty and scenic. Felt like they built a volleyball court in the middle of the forest.

      The weather was calling for major rain everyday but somehow we pretty much escaped it. On Wednesday, the qualifier day, there was some light rain midday. Phil and I did our plyo workout in the morning and just beat the rain. Thursday through Saturday were nice. High clouds with some sun but no rain. Today it was nice in the morning and then for the awarding ceremonies it rained fairly lightly but then stopped after 15 minutes or so. Pretty good considering that the weather man was calling for 60%- 90% rain on almost every day.

      The tourney went well for us as we won and I am actually blogging the same day as we won, not two weeks after the fact. Miracle in and of itself! On Thursday we won two games against a junior polish team that got a wild card and Casey and Brad. Always hate to play fellow Americans on this tour. It seemed like this tourney all the Americans and Brasilians were playing one another. Emanuel and Alison lost first round and fought all the way back to take 4th place. In their wake they left a lot of good teams. Jake and Rosy lost to Matt and Nick to take a 17th. Matt and Nick then lost to Emanuel and Alison who had just beaten Pedro and Harley. We beat Benjamin and Bruno in our first game Friday and then Alison and Emanuel beat them too. Just seemed like the brackets all aligned to where we would play one another.

      In the semis of the winners we lost to Spain. They pretty much served us off the court. They sided out well and bombed their jumpers and it worked as we lost in 3 games. On Saturday we played the best Polish team and had a battle. We prevailed in 2 tight ones much to the dissapointment of the crowd. Then we beat Jonas and Julius from Germany in 3 games of which none were close.

      Finally, today we got revenge on Spain and beat them in the finals pretty good. They didn't serve as well as the previous time we played them and Phil served really good. Nice to get on that long flight tomorrow with a win under our belts.

      Thursday, May 27, 2010

      Rome

      What an amazing city Rome is. I have spent a day there before when we played in Roseto back in 2008. Visited the Colisium but that was about all we had time to do. This time we spent a week there and although we were playing and not site seeing, we still were able to catch a lot of the cool stuff. Also, got to tour the American Embassy which was pretty neat.

      The tourney itself went well for us. We lost our first match in pool play to Gibb/Rosy but then won all our matches from there on out. Had some tough ones vs. Germany and Brasil on Saturday but Sunday we played very well. Beat the Spaniards in the semis and were in control the whole time. Then beat Alison and Emanuel in the finals. First game was tight. We were in control but then I gave up 3 of 4 points in a row to go down two points. We came back and won that game and then Phil put a blocking clinic on Alison in the second game. Not sure how many but it was similar to the third game in Beijing vs. Fabio.

      Monday we stayed and saw the Embassy as well as many of the sites to see in Rome. Marco Illustre, an italian coach for Austria who lives in Rome showed us around to some of the sites. It was very cool and I look forward to going back next year for the World Championships.

      Wednesday, May 26, 2010

      Santa Barbara & China

      Santa Barbara was the best tourney we have played to date and in front of the home crowd. Very nice. Phil mentioned that the most anyone scored off us in a single game was 17 points. That was Jake and Rosy. Little bit windy on the weekend but Sunday was a pretty nice day. Sunny the whole day and the AVP didn't cancel the finals.

      I had lots of family and friends down at the event watching which makes it all the sweeter. Wifey and kids were there and Nate was hamming it up for the ESPN broadcast. Have not seen but hope to soon.

      China was pretty good for the first three days and then the semis and finals were not so good for us. Won two matches on both Wednesday and Thursday and then Phil and I went into the city to hangout with my brother. Spent the night at a flat he was staying at on thursday night and then went shopping in Shanghai and playing tourist. We didn't play at all on Friday so we had a day to kill. Bought a bunch of stuff for the wife and kids. Then on Saturday we struggled against Harley/Pedro. They pretty much smoked us. Had a good game vs. Alison and Emanuel but lost 15-13 in the third.

      Wednesday, April 28, 2010

      Brasilia 2010

      Brasilia, Brazil is different from what you would expect of Brazil. I would say it is the most similar city that I have been to in Brazil, to a city in the USA. Fairly clean and well maintained. City is only 50 years old so everything is relatively new.

      On the playing front we won so bonus. We had a tough road. We played a Venezuelan team, 2 American teams, Jake/Rosy and Matt/Nick, German World Champs (Brink/Reckermann) and 4 different Brazilian teams out of the 5 that were in the main draw. We lost to the new Brasilian team of Thiago and Pedro Cunha. Good team. They will be in the qualifier for awhile but I could see them making it into the main draw eventually. We played and beat Pedro Salgado and Ricardo, Benjamin/Bruno and in the finals, Allison/Emmanuel.

      The story in the finals was simply we played well and they did not. Certainly was not their A game. Did seem as though Allison was having trouble consistently setting Emmanuel. Can't blame it on the wind though. There was a light breeze but it was mostly stopped by the wrap they put around the whole stadium. Nice for us to take the crowd out of the game quickly. The score was 7-2 in the first and 12-6 in the second and not much was heard from the pro-brasilian crowd. I expect that Allison and Emmanuel will be back. They are a good team and will keep getting better as the season progresses.

      Friday, April 23, 2010

      Ft. Lauderdale AVP

      Hello everyone. Have not blogged in ages and frankly it has been kind of nice. Just hanging with kids and the wifey enjoying life at home without all the travel. But, since the season has started and I am on the road trying to fill up the time, I figure I should get back on it. This year I don't think I will go as in depth as I have in years pass. Just give you any interesting tidbits about the tourney and maybe a game or two.

      In Ft. Lauderdale Phil and I played very well in pretty windy conditions. We mostly breezed through the first 4 rounds and into Sunday. On Sunday we played John and Sean in a close good match. Back and forth with everyone siding out pretty good for the most part. In the end we won in two.

      In the finals I have to clear something up that I have heard. I have heard it said that the players didn't want to play because they were afraid of getting injured. All the players were fine with playing. Not one of us ever said we would not play or that we should not play. We all said we would do whatever the AVP wanted us to do. After a couple minutes of back and forth, Matt Gage, the tournament director, said he thought we should not play. I was shocked. I have never heard Matt Gage say he thinks we shouldn't play. Lightning can practically be hitting the courts and he has always said, "keep playing, it is just a little lightning!" Then a minute or so later the management team at the AVP said, "you guys aren't playing." That was it. The players did agree it would be ugly volleyball for TV in that kind of rain and that the balls would be awfully heavy and tough on the shoulders. But everyone would have played. Ended up a tie for first and a split of the Prize Money.

      Thursday, April 15, 2010

      AVP Men's Finals on Universal Sports - TV Coverage

      COVERAGE ON UNIVERSAL SPORTS: Universal Sports, available in 57 million homes, presents same-day delayed coverage of the following matches of the AVP Tour:

      Apr 18 Fort Lauderdale Men’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      May 2 Santa Barbara Women’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      Jun 20 Virginia Beach Men’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      Jun 27 Belmar, NJ Men’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      Jul 18 Hermosa Beach Women’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      Aug 22 Manhattan Beach Men’s Finals 10:00-11:30PM ET
      Sep 19 Hermosa Beach Invitational 10:00-11:30PM ET

      Find TV coverage here

      Sunday, January 24, 2010

      Brasil Exhibition

      Flew down to Brasil 2 weekends ago. Played in a little exhibition down there. Really more of a business trip than anything else. Ended up travelling a little over 60 hours to get down there and back and was actually in Vitoria, Brasil for just over 40 hours.

      Phil and I played Ricardo and Pedro Salgado. We won in two games. Neither team was real crisp as expected although Phil and I both felt that Ricardo was playing pretty good ball considering. Jen and April also came down and they played Larissa and Juliana. They put a bit of a beat down on the Brasilians winning easily in both games. Neither Juliana or Larissa was very good. First time I have ever seen Larissa play that way. The next day we played a 4X4 co-ed match. The Brasilians won in 3 close games. Because we won the first two games, we ended up winning the exhibition. The promoter said that 18 million people watched the 4X4 game. If that is true, all I can say is wow!