August 15, 2008

Top-Ranked Rogers, Dalhausser Avoid Olympic Elimination with Comeback Win Over Switzerland

Aug. 15, 2008

Story courtesy of NBCOlympics.com

BEIJING, China - The "Professor" and the "Thin-Beast" needed a third-set comeback to advance at the Olympic beach volleyball tournament on Saturday. The Todd Rogers-Phil Dalhausser duo, ranked number one in the world, staved off eliminations and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over Switzerland in Beijing.

UCSB product Todd Rogers and fellow American Phil Dalhausser defeated Switzerland's Martin Laciga and Jan Schnider 21-16, 21-23, 15-13 in round of 16 play. The win marked the third straight for the 2007 world champions, who were upset by Latvia in their first pool-play match on Day 1.

But today's victory didn't come easy.

The first set was tight, with both teams trading points until the U.S. took a slight advantage at 7-5. The Americans held on to the slim advantage throughout most of the stanza before extending their lead to four at 14-10. Switzerland rallied to get within two points late in the set before the U.S. closed it out 21-16.

The Swiss controlled play in the second set. Laciga and Schnider opened the stanza with an early lead before Dalhausser and Rogers rallied to go ahead 8-6. Switzerland fought back to regain the lead at 11-10 before the Americans once again rebounded to take the advantage. The Swiss came back to tie it at 16-16 before clinching the set 23-21.

Switzerland dominated the start of the decisive third set, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. The Americans fought back to get within 6-5 before tying it at 7-7. Dalhausser and Rogers took their first lead at 11-10 before clinching the victory at 15-13.

With the win, Rogers and Dalhausser advanced to Monday's quarterfinal round. Germany, Georgia, and the Netherlands also won on Saturday and will join Rogers and Dalhausser in the quarters.

The other four squads to advance will be determined by late results from Saturday. The second U.S. team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal play the Spaniards, while Japan takes on Brazil, Austria faces Latvia, and Brazil's second team plays Russia in round of 16 matches.

-- UCSBGauchos.com --