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Dalhausser and Rosenthal open golden account for 2014

Dalhausser and Rosenthal returned to winning ways at the Stavanger Grand Slam
Stavanger, Norway, June 29, 2014 – Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won their first gold medals of the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour when they defeated Ricardo Santos and Alvaro Filho in the Stavanger Grand Slam gold medal match on Sunday.

In a match that pitted 2004 Olympic champion Ricardo against 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser, the USA pair ended victorious against the Brazilians with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) win that also earned them a pair of much-coveted Viking swords.
“It feels amazing for Phil and I to get a first win this year and it feels like we are getting better and better,” Rosenthal said. “We had a tough week last week and Phil was really sick. This week we were back and started getting better and better and got our first win. 

"I started playing on the World Tour in 2006 and that year I came here the first time and saw the swords and they are the best trophies in all of beach volleyball and now I’ve got one.”

The first seeds were in strong form throughout the week and dropped only one set in their seven matches.

The golds are their second medals on the 2014 World Tour after they won the bronze two weeks ago at the Moscow Grand Slam. In their first season together in 2013 they won three sets of gold medals. 

For Dalhausser his clash against Ricardo over the net was a case of two the all-time great blockers of beach volleyball going head to head, with the American’s superiority on the day crucial to the win.

“Ricardo and I have played so many times over the years and every time it is a tough match, so I’m glad we came out on top this time,” Dalhausser said. “It is always nice to win in Stavanger.

“We probably played our best tournament this week and we were very solid, even if we struggled a little bit we still we still stayed the course and scored the points.”

For Ricardo and Alvaro the silvers are their first medals of the year and a sign that they are returning to the form with which they won silver at the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and World Tour gold at the Gstaad Grand Slam. 

“The game was really tough and they were really aggressive today with their serve and the block,” Alvaro said. “We didn’t play our best, but I think we tried all the time.

“I’m not happy because we didn’t win, but we gave it everything. We didn’t do what we needed to win.”

Gabathuler and Gerson complete run from qualifiers with bronze 

Switzerland’s Philip Gabathuler and Mirco Gerson completed their run from the qualifiers as they won the bronze medals after a roller-coaster match against Kazakhstan’s Alexey Sidorenko and Alexandr Dyachenko, who also started off the tournament in qualifying.

The Swiss pair battled back from losing the first set to win 2-1 (28-30, 21-19, 15-9) in one hour, one minute and claim their first Grand Slam medals a month after they claimed their first World Tour medals at the Anapa Open in Russia. 

“I can’t believe it,” Gerson said. “This is amazing and the game was so much fun. I said to Philip to go for every ball and it worked today.

“It was a very difficult match. We had a lot of matches as we came from the qualification tournament and carried on playing here and now we’ve won the bronze medal.”

With the next World Tour event the Gstaad Grand Slam, the pair are sure to be afforded a hero’s welcome in the Swiss Alps. 

“The last few weeks have been going so well,” Gabathuler said. “We were dreaming about what has happened for such a long time and we’ve been working so hard for it. 
“We’ll have one week off but then we’ll hopefully show our home crowd that we are able to do some spectacular things.”

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