Around the World of Volleyball
December 9, 2013, FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (ISN) – Canada’s Jake MacNeil and Andrew Richards sealed their spot in the Youth...
- Written by Super User
- Category: weblog
For fans accustomed to seeing the same men’s teams competing year in and year out, the return of beach volleyball for the 2013 AVP Tour will be anything but traditional. With three new duos emerging, it’s difficult to forecast who will reign supreme on this year’s upcoming AVP Tour.
In what was surprising news to many fans, Olympic gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser called time on their eight-year partnership at the completion of the 2012 season. One of the most successful pairs in recent men’s beach volleyball history, Rogers, 38, has decided to scale back on his international competitions, while the 33-year-old Dalhausser wants to take a shot at playing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio di Janeiro. In the words of Rogers, the duo known as “The Professor” and the “Thin Beast” enjoyed a “good run” together, which included winning 43 AVP titles, 12 FIVB Grand Slam titles, being named the FIVB World Champions in 2007 and making back-to-back Olympic appearances in which they took home the gold medal in Beijing.
Rogers and Dalhausser aren’t the only Olympic duo to be calling it quits, as Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal have each decided to take on new partners for 2013 as well. In their seven years together, Gibb and Rosenthal were one of the most electrifying teams to watch on the pro beach volleyball circuit; winning first place in eight AVP events and two FIVB Grand Slam events, as well as being named Tour Champions in 2012. The duo ended their run together by taking home the title and a $42,500 purse at the AVP Championships in Santa Barbara in September 2012.
New Teams to Watch
- Phil Dalhausser/Sean Rosenthal: With a potent combination of height and speed, opponents will find it hard to score on this defensive duo. At 6’9, Dalhausser is a force at the net in both blocking and hitting. “The Thin Beast,” is a seven-time winner of the Best Blocker Award (AVP and FIVB) as well as nine times being named the Best Offensive Player on each Tour. Rosenthal, known as a tenacious player on the defensive side is also capable of making key contributions in offense. Named the 2012 FIVB’s Most Outstanding Player, “Rosie” brings a competitive attitude to the court that will likely help propel him and Dalhausser to the top echelon of every tournament they compete in.
- Todd Rogers/Ryan Doherty: Beach volleyball tour veteran Rogers will look to develop another young player in to a superstar on the sand with new partner Ryan Doherty. Rogers, who helped the towering Phil Dalhausser make the transition to beach volleyball back when the “Thin Beast” was still playing on the club indoor team at Central Florida, has a similar situation on his hands with Doherty. Standing at 7’1, “Avatar,” was the tallest pitcher in minor-league baseball history before moving across the country to pursue a career in beach volleyball. In his brief three-year professional career on the sand, Doherty has already had two top-six finishes at AVP Tour events. With Rogers experience and Doherty’s supreme athleticism, this pair will look to contend in every domestic tour event they take part in.
- Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson: Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson have partnered up to form what could be regarded as one of the most seasoned beach volleyball teams that will compete in the upcoming season. Gibb, who was named FIVB Tour Champion in 2012 with former partner Sean Rosenthal, brings an all-around skill set to the beach. At 6’7, he can block at the net as well as attack the ball. Casey Patterson, who is entering his tenth year as a beach pro, stands at 6’6 and has a measured reach of 8’11, giving him the ability to stretch above the net on both offense and defense. Patterson, who played internationally for the first time in 2011, and Gibb, who has extensive international playing experience, will make up a unique team that combines height and speed, presenting a formidable match-up for any opponent they face.
While the new partnership questions on the men’s side have been answered, one looming uncertainty still hangs over the women’s side of the competition…Who will three-time Olympic gold medalist and arguably the best female player in the history of beach volleyball, Kerri Walsh Jennings, partner with in the coming season?