Olympic Update: Rogers-Dalhausser sweep Japan in first match

Defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser opened the London Olympics with a 21-15, 21-16 pool-play victory over Japan’s Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori on Sunday night in the beach volleyball competition at Horse Guards Parade.

The Santa Barbara team got off to a slow start, falling behind 5-2 after a couple of bad passes by Dalhausser. But the 6-9 “Thin Beast” regrouped and powered the team to a 15-11 lead. Dalhausser put away the final point following a Rogers dig of a hard angle spike by Shiratori.

Japan led 4-3 after the first side change of the second set. Rogers-Dalhausser scored the next three points ? one on a Dalhausser ace serve ? and never trailed again.

Rogers-Dalhausser lost their first pool-play match at the Beijing Olympics and then won their next six matches en route to the gold medal.

The second-seeded Rogers-Dalhausser are seeking to become the first men’s team to repeat as Olympic champion. Their next match is Tuesday against Spain’s Adrian Gavira-Pablo Herrera at 1 p.m. PDT. Their final pool-play match is against Petr Benes-Presysl Kubala of Czech Republic on Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. PDT.

In other action involving local Olympians, the U.S. men’s water polo team of Terry Schroeder (San Marcos High) defeated Montenegro 8-7 in its opening game. It was only the second time since 2008 that the USA Men have beaten Montenegro in a major championship. On Saturday, the U.S. women’s volleyball team defeated South Korea in four sets. Three-time gold medalist Karch Kiraly is an assistant coach on the women’s team.