The defending Beach Volleyball Olympic champions have been eliminated in the round of 16. A young Italian team of Paolo Nicolai and Danlele Lupo upset Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers. Nicolai and Lupo are the No. 15 ranked team in the Olympics. Rogers and Dalhausser lost 2-0, (21-17, 21-19).
At 6 foot 8 inches tall, Nicolai was the answer to 6 foot 9 inch Dalhausser. Nicolai dominated from the start with three blocks and eight kills in the first set. He continued his dominance in the second set and kept the Americans off their game. Dalhausser only had one block in the match that came in the second set. When Dalhausser isn’t getting blocks, they aren’t the same.
Todd Rodgers battled a right hamstring injury he suffered Thursday night. Playing back-to-back days didn't help Rogers' injury. They played a Czech team less than 24 hours before playing the Italians. His jumping was especially hampered by the injury. Rogers has said this will be his last Olympics and it’s a bitter way for him to go out.
The American men now pin their hopes on Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal who play at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Saturday.
On the women’s side, the No. 4 ranked U.S. team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy defeated the Swiss team of Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr, the No. 13 ranked team in the Olympics. Ross and Kessy won in straight sets, 21-15, 21-19.
The U.S. team played back-to-back days after a grueling three-set match with a Spanish team on Thursday. Ross and Kessy had a combined 26 kills in the victory.
They advance to the quarterfiles against the winner of Maria Antonelli and Talita Rocha from Brazil, or the Czech team of Kristyna Kilocova and Marketa Slukova. The match will be at 2:00 p.m. EST.