Rogers-Dalhausser win fourth FIVB title the hard way

After backing themselves into a corner to start  the tournament, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser regrouped and finished as champions.

The local pro beach volleyball team beat the top seeded team from Brazil in the semifinals and outlasted the hometown Polish team in the championship of the FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event in Stare Jablonki, Poland on Sunday.

In the final, Rogers-Dalhausser beat Grzegorz Fijalek and  Mariusz Prudel of Poland, 21-15, 15-21, 15-13, in 53 minutes.

It was the second straight victory on the international tour for Rogers-Dalhausser and their four title of the season.

Making this title sweeter for the team from East Beach was a 21-15, 18-21, 15-12 win over Brazil’s Emanuel Rego and Alison Cerutti in the semifinals. That snapped a two-matching losing streak against them.

Rogers said beating the Brazilians en route to the title is one of two highlights of the season.

“Beating Emanuel and Alison is nice, expecially after having lost to them the last two times we played them and also knowing they are playing at a very high level,” Rogers told in an email. “Another highlight is being part of an All-American podium last weekend in Quebec.  Never been done before, so that was kind of special.”

Rogers said the key to beating the Brazilians was serving Rego tough.
“We got him in some passing trouble and Alison had some setting trouble because of it. Phil had a ton of blocks as well, which I attribute to poor passing and setting.  (It’s) tough enough to hit against an Emanuel or Alison with a good pass and set, super hard with a bad pass and set.”
Rogers-Dalhausser started the tournament  by losing their first two pool-play matches against a team from Germany and Czech Republic. They won their third match over a team from Latvia to finish third in the pool and advanced to the playoffs.

“We had a very slow start in this tournament, but we turned it around and finished really strong, beating the new world champions and a red-hot Polish team on their home court,” Dalhausser told  “We were comfortable with how things were going, but (the Polish team) made some great plays in the second set and we couldn’t close them out.

“Todd and I play a lot of three set matches so we don’t panic easily and we actually enjoy when a large, vocal crowd like this is rooting for their home team.,” he added. “We feel the energy, but we don’t let it get to us. It actually helps us to focus even more.”

Said Rogers about the comeback from the early losses, “We really turned this one around and it took both of us to do it.  Those first two losses were really bad on our part but the last six wins we played as good as we have since Phil’s ankle injury.  The Polish team played very good like Phil said, and I think it’s great to see another country besides the ‘regulars’ have some impact on the final four of a FIVB Swatch World Tour event.

“Hopefully we can continue on in Austria and go for the trifecta,” he added.

The FIVB World Tour continues in  Klagenfurt, Austria next weekend.  After a week off, the tour goes to  Aland Finland, The Hague, Netherlands, and winds up in Morocco in the second weekend in October.