Phil Delivers the Goods

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Oakley’s Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers completed an American sweep of the beach volleyball gold medals, beating Brazil in three sets on Friday.

Dalhausser rejected four straight shots in the decisive set to turn a tight match into a blowout, then did it again on the championship point to give the Americans the sport’s first Olympic gold medal sweep.

“I got in a zone, I guess,” Dalhausser said. “I blocked it all out. It’s just one of those things where you see everything perfectly and it all seems to be in slow motion.”

Dalhausser and Rogers beat Fabio and Marcio 23-21, 17-21, 15-4, winning their Olympic debut in classic beach volleyball weather a day after Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor weathered a driving rainstorm to win their second straight gold.

“It feels good to bring it home,” Dalhausser said.

Spitting out a tough challenge like the sand he washed from his mouth in the second set, Rogers played steady for three sets and Dalhausser came alive in the third.

The tallest player in the tournament at six-foot-nine with jump that can bring him 109 centimeters above the net, the bald bullet known as “The Thin Beast” had nine blocks in the gold medal match. He had four in a row in the third set to help turn a comfortable 5-1 lead into a 9-1 runaway.

“When he gets on a roll, I just pull out my pompons and give a little cheer and keep smiling and clapping,” Rogers said. “That’s what good blockers do: When they get on a roll, good luck to you.”

Author

Matt Murray

Date

August 22, 2008