It’s seventh heaven for Todd, Phil on World Tour

What a weekend for local pro beach volleyball stars Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser.

The No. 1 team in the world wrote more pages to their incredible history together as a team by winning the Swatch-FIVB World Tour Grand Slam Tournament in Stare Jablonki, Poland on Sunday.

They defeated reigning world champions Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann of Germany for the gold medal, 21-19, 21-19, for their seventh international title this year. That equals the FIVB men’s record for most titles in a season.

The seventh win is cool, and hopefully we can break the record next week in Norway,” Rogers told Presidio Sports in an email interview after the match.

The seven titles (including four of the six Grand Slams) brings their career total as a team to 15 on the international tour, which ties them for second all-time with Brazilian pairs of Emanuel Rego-Ze Marco de Melo (1995-1997) and Emanuel-Jose Loiola (1998-2000).

If that’s not enough, Rogers-Dalhausser clinched the World Tour’s season championship in Poland, thus becoming only the second team in history to complete the international beach volleyball triple: and Olympic gold medal (2008), the FIVB World Championship (2007) and FIVB World Tour title.

Brazil’s Ricardo Santos and Emanuel, the winningest duo with 33 titles, were the first to accomplish the feat.

“That’s the greatest team in the history of this game, Ricardo and Emanuel, so to be in the same category as them is pretty special,” Rogers said.

The gold medal in Stare Jalonki was the third straight for Rogers-Dalhausser overseas and fifth in a row overall. They split $43,500.

To reach the final, Rogers-Dalhausser had to survive a gut-wrenching, marathon semifinal match against Brazil’s Marcio Araujo and Ricardo Santos. The Brazilians won an epic first game, 41-39, which tied the record for longest first game ever in a FIVB match.

“That was a crazy semi,” Rogers said. “We didn’t say anything to each other after we lost. It was just nose to the grindstone the whole time.”

Rogers-Dalhausser regrouped and took the next two games, 21-19, 15-12 to advance to their eighth final on the tour — they’ve made 10 final fours.

Rogers said he usually doesn’t pay attention to the score, but “it was a great all-around match, though.”

In the final, “We were one sideout better than the Germans in both games,” Rogers said. “They were fresh, having just come off six weeks of not playing. They both had minor surgery, but they both looked really smooth and excited to back out there.”

With the postponement of the domestic AVP Tour event in San Francisco, Rogers-Dalhausser will remain in Europe and play in Kristiansand, Norway next week.

Story includes information from Universal Sports.