Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser finished pool play undefeated and will next play Italy in the knockout round of the Olympics beach volleyball tournament at Horse Guards Parade.
Rogers-Dalhausser, the reigning gold medalists, swept Premysl Kubala-Petr Benes of Czech Republic, 21-13, 21-15, in the final round-robin match on Thursday.
“Tonight, we definitely played quite a bit better,” Rogers told NBC-TV. “The sand seemed a little more packed today. Phil and I were essentially just on. We gave up a few foolish points. But we played a pretty solid match.
They’ll play their Round of 16 match on Friday against 6-8 Paolo Nicolai and 6-4 Daniele Lupo. The Italians advanced by beating Canada (21-16, 22-20) in a play-in match on Thursday.
Rogers-Dalhausser will be joined in the Round 16 by Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, who went 2-1 in pool play. They’ll face Russia’s Konstantin Semenov (6-11) and Sergey Prokopyev on Saturday.
On the women’s side, two-time gold medalists Kerry Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor will meet Marleen van Irsel and Sanne Keizer in their knockout round opener on Saturday morning. Jennifer Kessy and April Ross drew the Swiss team of Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr for the round of 16 on Friday afternoon.
U.S. men’s water polo men improves to 3-0
Tony Azevedo scored four goals and Ryan Bailey added three to pace the U.S. men’s water polo team to a 13-7 pool-play win over Great Britain. The victory improves the Americans to 3-0 in the tournament.
“They are great leaders,” U.S. coach and San Marcos High alum Terry Schroeder said. “This team is full of experience: we have these two guys at their fourth Olympics, four guys with three times. Those guys have a good, strong voice, and leadership on the team, it means a lot and they help me a lot.”
The U.S. will next play Serbia on Saturday.
“I think Serbia is the best team in the world right now, they have consistency in the last four years, they are the top team,” Schroeder said. “They have a great balance, good centre-forwards, great shooters, a good goalie. They are going to be tough to beat and it will be very difficult to beat them twice if we meet them again later (in the tournament).”