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Phil Dalhausser is a beach volleyball player competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

The towering 6-foot-9 Phil Dalhausser, whom many call the best in the game, enters his second Olympics with veteran Todd Rogers. The pair debuted in Beijing, and Dalhausser and Rogers played like first-timers in their opening match, losing in straight sets to Latvia's Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Martins Plavins, the 23rd seed out of 24 teams. The Americans rebounded to win their pool, but nearly lost again in the round of 16, when they fell behind to Switzerland's Martin Laciga and Jan Schnider 6-0 in the third game before remarkably winning 15-13. Dalhausser and Rogers went to three sets again in the gold medal-match versus Brazil's Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes, but the "Beijing Beast" put on a show in the final game. Dalhausser recorded five blocks en route to the 15-4 win that landed the third beach volleyball gold for American men in four Olympics.

After winning the 2007 FIVB World Championships and the 2008 Olympics, Dalhausser and Rogers struggled for motivation in 2009 — yet still won 10 tournaments. In his mid-30s, Rogers was hesitant about making a push for the 2012 Olympics, but committed to Dalhausser before the 2010 season, which ended up being the finest of their careers (see below). Dalhausser injured his ankle early on in 2011, which hindered the middle part of the duo's season, but Dalhausser and Rogers still earned medals in nine of the 12 FIVB events they played, including four golds. They entered seven tournaments in 2012 prior to London, reaching the semifinals in five and winning two. Dalhausser and Rogers have won 65 of the 124 events they've played in their careers together.

In their second season together, Dalhausser and Rogers won the 2007 World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland, becoming the first U.S. men's team to win a world title. They defeated defending Olympic champions Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego of Brazil in that semifinal, a breakthrough win for the up-and-coming American duo. In 2009, Dalhausser and Rogers failed to defend their world title, but still left Stavanger, Norway, with a bronze medal. The Americans were defeated in the semis by Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann, the eventual champs. Dalhausser was hobbled by a sprained ankle at the 2011 Worlds in Rome, but he and Rogers still managed a ninth-place finish after being eliminated again by Brink and Reckermann. Yet, that was the worst finish for the pair in four world championships; their first event ever together was actually the 2005 Worlds in Berlin. Rogers asked Dalhausser to play with him at the last minute after his regular partner suffered an injury, and they placed an impressive seventh.

After Rogers committed in 2010 to playing through the London Games, he and Dalhausser turned in the finest season ever by American men, and maybe the best ever in the world. They won an FIVB single-season record nine tournaments on the World Tour, easily winning the 2010 FIVB Tour championship. They made the semifinals in each of the 12 international events they played, winning their final five appearances and starting a winning streak that would end at 40 matches in the beginning of 2011. Dalhausser and Rogers added another five titles in domestic AVP events in 2010, during which they never lost in 34 matches.

Previously, Dalhausser and Roger's best season was in 2008, when they took 11 of 15 AVP titles and four of seven FIVB tournaments. They rode a 21-match FIVB winning streak into the Olympics, and earned the most Olympic qualifying points in the world. That came after they captured 10 of 17 AVP events and one of six FIVB tournaments in 2007, and eight of 16 AVP events and one of six FIVB tournaments in 2006. Dalhausser began playing on the AVP Tour in 2003, but it wasn't until three years later, when Rogers (who debuted in 1995) asked him to be his partner, that either one began to win titles consistently.

Because of his height, Dalhausser spends most of his time at the net blocking, while Rogers, who is seven inches shorter, roams the back of the court digging. "You need a big guy to set up a big block and you need a little guy to chase down balls," Dalhausser says. "Some of them will hit a hard-driven ball to me (rather) than to Todd. Todd is more likely going to control that hard-driven ball to where his partner can set it." Dalhausser was named AVP MVP from 2007-09, AVP Best Offensive Player from 2005-2009, AVP Best Blocker in 2008 and '09, FIVB Most Outstanding in 2010, FIVB Best Offensive Player from 2008-10, FIVB Best Hitter from 2007-10, FIVB Best Blocker in 2006, '07, '08, and '10, and FIVB Best Setter from 2009-11.

Dalhausser's height and powerful spikes force opponents to often serve Rogers, meaning the shorter player will attack at the net. But one of the reasons for the team's success is Dalhausser's ability to set balls for Rogers. "The thing is that some people forget or maybe at the beginning you don't see so well that Phil is an excellent setter," two-time German Olympian Christoph Dieckmann told Volleyball Magazine. "He's one of the best setters around." Rogers agrees: "Setting-wise, he's got some of the best hands in the world." The consensus is that if Dalhausser has one weakness, it's his passing (receiving serves).

Dalhausser says he and Rogers work well together because they have similarly laid-back attitudes and get along off the court. "It's not like some guys who don't go out with each other and they'll be mad at each other on the court," Dalhausser says, adding, "We're both kind of low-key, we kind of keep to ourselves. And I think we're both level-headed and I think that's huge because guys get fired up and then they try to pound the ball into the sand." Dalhausser and Rogers were named the AVP Team of the Year from 2007-09, and the FIVB Team of the Year in 2010.

Dalhausser moved to Santa Barbara in early 2005 while he was partnered with Nick Lucena and began training against Rogers, who was teamed with Sean Scott. "(Phil) did some stuff in training that I was just going, 'Wow, that's amazing that a guy that big can move that well and do some of the stuff he's doing,'" says Rogers, who ended up calling on Dalhausser to play with him at the 2005 Worlds because Scott broke his pinky two weeks before the tournament. Rogers said Dalhausser was his fourth choice, but it worked out well. "(Phil) literally came out two days before," Rogers says. "He flew out, we didn't even have time to practice, we never touched the ball around, and we ended up taking seventh in the world championships, which isn't too bad considering the circumstances." Later that fall, Rogers asked Dalhausser to be his partner full-time.

Rogers is known around the game as "The Professor." Once he secured Dalhausser under his tutelage, the "Thin Beast" — nicknamed so for his tall, lanky frame — began to thrive. One of the most cerebral players in the game, Rogers was an assistant coach at UC-Santa Barbara, his alma mater, and says he actually likes coaching better than playing. So he jumped at the chance to acquire a raw 6-foot-9 talent in Dalhausser, who grew up playing tennis and baseball. "Volleyball is for girls" was Dalhausser's response when first asked to try volleyball, but he played on the indoor club team at the University of Central Florida, and spent a lot of time playing on the beach as well.

During Dalhausser's rookie season in 2003, he and Lucena qualified for the main draw at the AVP Huntington Beach Open, but had a flight to Baltimore to play in a Pro Beach East event the same day the AVP main draw started. They agreed to stay if they happened to win their first match, but they lost and forfeited their loser's bracket match to fly back east. They landed in Baltimore around midnight and, since they weren't old enough to rent a car, planned on taking a train to Philadelphia to meet up with a fellow player. However, the Northeast had a power outage that weekend, so the trains weren't running. A cab driver offered them a ride to the tournament site in Ocean City, Md., for $200, which was all they had at the time. After pulling in around 4 a.m., they gave the cabbie his money with no tip and ran off. Dalhausser and Lucena then walked to the beach, found an outlet to pump up their aero beds and went to sleep. They woke up to the laughter of players checking in, but then won the tournament and $5,000.

Dalhausser was born and lived a year in Switzerland before moving to the United States with his Swiss mother and German father. Were he not playing professional beach volleyball, he figures he'd be behind a desk somewhere "crunching numbers," as he received a business degree from Central Florida. Instead, he works mostly during the summer. The rest of his time is filled with playing video games and keeping up on his fantasy football, basketball and baseball teams. After a match at the 2007 AVP Cincinnati Open, Dalhausser told the Cincinnati Post, "The win was huge for me because if we lose that match we have to play (Friday night). And I have a fantasy football draft."


How tall is Phil Dalhausser? How old is Phil Dalhausser? Where does Phil Dalhausser live? Find out here.

Age: 37 years old
Birthday: January 26, 1980
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 201 lbs.
Birthplace: Lupfig, Switzerland
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Current Residence: Ventura, CA

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