Dalhausser & Rosenthal in top position at Men's Fuzhou Open
A little finger injury sustained by Alison during training means the pair will have to sit out Fuzhou, opening the field to a number of new combinations in the first international tournament of the season.
Change within the American team witnesses one of the most successful volleyball partnerships of all time, Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers with new partners in 2013. Dalhausser and Rosenthal join forces in a union that they hope will take them all the way to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Rosenthal’s former partner of six years, Jacob Gibb establishes a fresh partnership with Casey Patterson, while Rogers begins to cut down on international competition and will play with newcomer Ryan Doherty in Fuzhou.
From Brazil, veteran and three time Olympic medallist Ricardo Alex Costa Santos also takes on a new partner in 2013. Sixteen years Ricardo’s junior, Álvaro Morais Filho won silver at the FIVB U21 World Championships in 2009 and 2010.
Pedro Solberg Salgado and Bruno Oscar Schmidt also pair up for Brazil following the one and only time they previously competed together in 2006 resulting in a junior world championship title.
With the retirement of Germany’s Jonas Reckermann, half of the London 2012 gold medallist team, partner Julius Brink hopes to mount a successful defence of his Olympic title with 26-year-old Sebastian Fuchs. Fellow Germans Jonathan Erdmann and Kay Matysik form an experienced pair of consistent performers, but are yet to podium in international competition.
Another familiar team, Italy’s Nicolai Paolo and Daniele Lupo are capable of medal performances, but have not played a major tournament since London 2012.
The final of the men’s event takes place on 27 April.
Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province lies on the southeast coast of mainland China and hosts the Open event for the first time. The city held the AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in 2012 where Cristopher McHugh and Isaac Kapa were part of the silver medal Australian team.
The Fuzhou Open is the first of eight Open events during a bumper ninth-month season, which also includes the FIVB World Tour – 10 Grand Slams and the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki, Poland.
The Shanghai Grand Slam is the next tournament on the calendar running from April 30 to May 5.
Please click here for the Men’s Main Draw full schedule and live comments throughout the tournament can be found at #FuzhouOpen.