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Dalhausser and Rosenthal make it back-to-back gold with Gstaad success

Sean Rosenthal (left) and Phil Dalhausser are on a roll having won their second consecutive Grand Slam gold and their third medal in four tournaments
Gstaad, Switzerland, July 13, 2014 – Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal won a second consecutive FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal when they defeated Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt in the Gstaad Gold medal match on Sunday. 

The American pair won the previous tournament, the Stavanger Grand Slam and they continued their strong form in the Swiss Alps when they defeated the Brazilians 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) after a match that pitted Dalhausser against Alison at the net and Rosenthal and Bruno at the back of the court.

“We keep getting better and better,” Rosenthal said. “When Phil can serve and block like that and I’m picking up tough balls at the back we’re going to be a pretty tough team to beat. 

“I need to be a bit steadier on my passing there when it gets towards the end, but all in all it has been a great week for us and we’re stoked to come out with the win our second gold in a row.”

For 2008 Olympic champion Dalhausser it is another medal to add to his collection from the Swiss Alps. The Swiss-born player won the 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and gold at the 2010 Grand Slam and silver in 2011 former partner Todd Rogers.

Members of his Swiss family were in the crowd to cheer him and Rosenthal on and he responded with a dominant performance at the net. 

“I love coming to Gstaad, it is such a beautiful place, the most beautiful on the Tour,” Dalhausser said. “My family is here, so it always fun to play in front of them because I don’t get to play in front of them too often.”

For Alison and Bruno the silver medal is their best result since they teamed up together at the start of 2014. 

They had previously won bronze at the Berlin Grand Slam and silver at the Fuzhou Open, but despite missing out on gold their run to the final was all the more remarkable considering they had begun the tournament in the qualifying rounds. 

“Today our game didn’t work and it wasn’t our best day, yesterday we played better,” Alison said. “Dalhausser and Rosenthal are into their second year and they have been growing and have now won two Grand Slams this year. 

“This is our first year together and we’ve been taking it step by step from qualifying. They are a good example of a great team and we hope to be like them one day, winners, but we are on a good path.”

No waiting around as Lucena and Doherty win bronze

Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty needed only two sets to beat Germany’s Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) and win the bronze medals. 

In doing so the US duo secured their second World Tour medals of their first season together having won silver at the Berlin Grand Slam. Like Alison and Bruno they too started off the week in the qualification rounds. 

“It is exciting to come back after a not so great finish in Norway (Stavanger),” Lucena said. “With the rainy weather and coming through the qualifier it has been quite tough mentally, but Ryan played great all week and we had some great defence.

“There are so many great teams that it is quite difficult to do this. We are a little inconsistent right now, but Ryan is playing only his second season and he is getting better every tournament.”

The double-gender US$800,000 FIVB Gstaad Grand Slam ran from Wednesday, July 9 until Sunday July 13 when the men’s and women’s medal matches took place. It was the ninth event and the fifth Grand Slam on the 2014 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar that features nine Grand Slams and 11 Open tournaments.

The 2014 World Tour began at the Fuzhou Open in China in April and concludes at the Durban Open in South Africa in December. Next up on the World Tour calendar is the Transavia Hague Grand Slam which runs from July 15-20.  

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