It’s telling that when asked to list his best achievements, professional beach volleyball player Phil Dalhausser stumbles to come up with two or three. And none of them are his Most Outstanding Player award at the 2008 Olympics, his top-ranked status on the AVP Tour for the past two years, or his 2008 lead in blocks per game (2.12) and hitting percentage (.519). There’s no mention of his 11 AVP victories or the 21-match FIVB winning streak with partner Todd Rogers. For all his athletic dominance on the court, the imposing 6’ 9” Olympic gold medalist is whole-heartedly humble.
Since teaming up with veteran player Todd Rogers in 2006, Phil has become the best blocker in the game. The two have won 27 of 43 AVP events they’ve entered. The 10 first-place finishes they took in 2007 included a win at Manhattan Beach, otherwise known as “the Wimbledon of volleyball” and one of Phil’s favorite competitions. The duo has also won five of the 18 FIVB contests they’ve played. In 2006, they won a gold medal in the Grand Slam in Klagenfurt, Austria, which ended a 50-event drought for U.S. men playing international volleyball; the next year, they took gold at the World Championships in Gstaad—a first for an American team. But nothing quite compared to winning Olympic gold in 2008 in Beijing, where Phil’s five blocks in the third set of the finals helped crown him Most Outstanding Player in men’s beach volleyball.