2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


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


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