4 US teams, 4 wins to start Beach Volleyball
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Published on Jul 30, 2012
When Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser made their Olympic debut in Beijing, they lost their first match to a Latvian team that was seeded 23rd in the 24-team field.
They were determined not to have to stage a comeback again in London.
The defending beach volleyball gold medalists opened the 2012 tournament with a straight-set win over Japan on Sunday night, their seventh consecutive Olympic victory. The win kept the United States a perfect 4-0 in pool play, something the Americans couldn't manage on their way to a sweep of the men's and women's gold medals in 2008.
"It was fun to watch the other American teams win, and then we won," Rogers said after the 21-15, 21-16 victory over Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori. "I'm glad we could make it an undefeated first round for the U.S.A."
Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy also won their match Sunday night, beating Ana Gallay and Virginia Zonta of Argentina 21-11, 21-18. Two-time women's gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor won Saturday, as did No. 2 U.S. men's team Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal.
Rogers and Dalhausser lost their Olympic debut in 2008 and won the next six matches - including the championship game against Brazil. Rogers said the problem in Beijing was part nerves and part exhaustion from marching in the opening ceremony the night before their first match.
Dalhausser's legs were especially tired, neutralizing the jumping that makes him such an intimidating blocker at the net. This time, they had a full day off between the lengthy parade of nations and their first match on Sunday.
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