Rogers, AVP players encouraged about sport’s future

After spending weeks overseas dominating the beach volleyball world tour, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser returned to domestic soil and played in a pro event on the sands of Cincinnati over Labor Day weekend.

They lost in the final of the Pro Beach Volleyball Players Championship to second-seeded John Hyden and Sean Scott, 21-15, 24-22, but it was the vibe of the tournament that left the 32 players at the event encouraged that a domestic tour of some kind will return next year.

“Everyone is optimistic that we will be fine come next year,” Rogers said. “It was good to see everyone and chat about moving forward in 2011.”

The domestic AVP Tour ran into financial problems and folded just before the 50th Manhattan Beach Open last month.

The Cincinnati tournament was one of five remaining tournaments affected by the AVP’s demise. Manhattan Beach, thanks to the help of the city and the California Beach Volleyball Association, held its milestone event, albeit using old-school rules — which the majority of AVP teams refused to play.

While San Francisco, Chicago and Hermosa Beach events were wiped out, promoters in Cincinnati did their own thing and staged their tournament, albeit with less prize money than an AVP event.

They held it at a newly constructed Hahana Beach Sports Complex in the Columbia Township outside the city. The facility includes a restaurant, bar and six sand courts.

The tournament used to be held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

“The ambiance at the tourney was awesome,” Rogers said. “Mario (Cicchinelli and Bob (Slattery), the promoters in Cincinnati, do a fantastic job. They pretty much a sell out the entire time. It was a really cool event with a great vibe.

“It’s funny, as some are saying the vibe is gone from pro beach volleyball,” he added. “I play in events like Austria and Cincinnati and I think to myself, ‘it doesn’t get any better than this.’ “

As for the competition, Rogers said he and Dalhausser had “absolutely not” touched a volleyball since winning a record ninth title on the FIVB World Tour two weeks ago in Finland. As a result, they came out rusty.

But, after 14 total tournament wins, four FIVB grand slam titles and the World Tour points championship, Hahana Beach was all about having a good time.

“Phil and I decided we would just have fun in this tourney and not stress about winning or losing,” Rogers said. “We mixed it up and bait-and-switch blocked the entire tournament.  The first game versus Sean and John they pulled steadily ahead and won fairly easily.  The second game we were actually up a few points and probably should have pushed it to a third, but I gave up some points and they came back to win it in overtime.”

In the women’s final, Jennifer Kessy and April Ross defeated Annett Davis and Jenny Jordan, 21-18, 21-11.

The tournament winners split $10,000 and the runner-up teams $8,000.

Besides Rogers and Dalhausser’s return to play in the U.S., another highlight of the Hahana Beach event was the return of Kerri Walsh to the court after the birth of her second child. The two-time Olympic champion played with former UCSB star Brooke Hanson, and they finished seventh.

“Kerri was still really good, maybe not quite 100 percent but still damn good,” said Rogers.

Now, the hope is she and the other AVP players will be able to continue playing their sport at home next year.

Roger said that was the hot topic of discussion in Ohio.

“Of course. It was on everyone’s mind and that is what all the chat was about,” he said

They’ll have all fall and winter to figure it out.

Comments

  1. Corrections to Article. Please do your homework before writing!
    1) Only one promoter in Cincy (not promoters)
    2) Chicago was also cancelled
    3) Eight teams were not invited! 15 teams were inivited. The 16th earned a spot via the Qualifiers!
    4) “But after THE year they had” – yeesh!

    • Do your homework by actually reading almighty VB Guru and apparently world-renownded editor. He listed Chicago in the article. And if Todd was quoted as saying the promoterS did a great job,obviously there were two of them.

  2. Hey JR21, 3 out of 4 observations ain’t bad. How many did you come up with?

  3. Sick of blowhard says

    Douche bag. Stop making up multiple screen names and posting on every volleyball site correcting (at least in your mind) and putting down other people. Your elitist tone and condescending comments make it clear who you are and you have zero credibility so just zip it. No one wants to hear from ANY of your personalities.

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