Phil Dalhausser, left, and Todd Rogers show off their medals.
BEIJING (Aug. 22, 2008) – With a gold medal at stake, Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) got defensive, finishing with nine blocks as he and U.S. partner Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) defeated Brazil's Marcio Araujo and Fábio Luiz Magalhães, 23-21, 17-21, 15-4 in 1 hour, 7 minutes on Friday at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Grounds.
Dalhausser and Rogers became the third U.S. men's team to win gold in beach volleyball. Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes won in 1996. Dain Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana won in 2000.
Dalhausser and Rogers are also the second U.S. volleyball team to win gold at the 2008 Olympic Games. Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Saratoga, Calif.) won the women's beach title on Thursday.
"Some athletes say they get into a zone. I was definitely in the zone," said Dalhausser, who had five blocks in the third set alone, including three in a row to take the score from 6-1 to 9-1 and another to end the match, all against Fabio Luiz.
"Everybody fears it," Rogers said of Dalhausser's block. "In the third set he just got on a roll."
Rogers did his part in the victory as well, finishing with 24 kills and four digs.
Besides his blocks, Dalhausser also had five kills, four digs and one ace. The U.S. team also took advantage of 16 errors by the Brazilians while making only 10 of their own.
Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos defeated 15th-seeded Renato "Geor" Gomes and Jorge "Gia" Terceiro of Georgia, 21-15, 21-10 to win the bronze.
In the first set, Marcio and Fabio took a 7-2 lead and then increased it to 9-3. Dalhausser and Rogers began their comeback with a Rogers kill to make it 9-4. Two more straight points made it 9-6 and after Marcio scored another point on a kill, the United States scored four straight points to tie at 10s.
The score remained close until it was tied at 21-21. A kill by Rogers made it 22-21 and a hitting error by Brazil won the set for the United States.
The second set remained close until the score was tied at 15-15. Brazil scored three points in a row to open a gap. Rogers scored on an error, but Brazil score twice more to reach set point. A Rogers kill made it 20-17, but Dalhausser served into the net for the set loss.
Between the second and third sets, Rogers said he told Dalhausser, "Hey, let's have fun. This is the culmination of a dream."
Dalhausser and Rogers took control of the third set with a 9-1 run, including the three straight blocks by Dalhausser. Following the side switch, Rogers served into the net to give Brazil its second point. But the United States scored twice more on a Rogers kill and a Brazil error to make the score 11-2.
A Fabio kill made it 11-3 but Rogers counted with a kill for the 12-3 lead. Marcio's kill made it 12-4 before a Brazilian service error and a Rogers kill took the United States to match point at 14-4. Dalhausser's final block ended the match at 15-4.