BEIJING At 6-foot-9, it is redundant to call anything Phil Dalhausser puts down on a beach volleyball court as a "big block."
But utilizing Dalhausser's power and partner Todd Rogers' experience and opportunistic play, the American duo defeated Brazil's Marcio Araujo and Fabo Magalhaes 23-21, 17-21, 15-4 for the gold medal Friday at Chaoyank Park Beach Volleyball Ground.
First-time Olympians, Rogers, 34, and Dalhausser, 28, jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the third and decisive set with their complimentary play Dalhausser with the power block, Rogers' with the perfectly placed touch shots,
The Brazilians seemed rattled, committing unforced errors as the Americans ran away with the third set, Dalhausser knocking over Rogers with a ferocious chest bump on match point.
A latecomer to the game, Dalhausser teamed up with Rogers for their first international match in 2005, with Dalhausser quicking learning the finer points from his new partner. They became known as "The Thin Beast" (Dalhausser) and the "The Professor" (Rogers), one of the top teams in the world, with three straight World Cup gold medals coming into the 2008 Games.
With Rogers' and Dalhausser's gold, U.S. teams have now won five gold medals, two silvers and a bronze in four Summer Games since the sport made its Olympic debut.