American beach volleyball fans can breathe a sigh of relief. The stellar performance of the infant partnership between Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser at the Fuzhou Open proves that they can do very well, if not entirely dominate, the FIVB this season – a comforting realization after a disappointing Olympic performance from our men’s beach volleyball teams. In Fuzhou, Rosie and Dalhausser defeated the Italian team of Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in the gold medal match in straight sets (21-18, 24-22) after going undefeated in pool play.
The other big story of the men’s draw was the surprise bronze medal winners. Alexander Huber and Robin Seidl from Austria entered the competition through the qualifier tournament, and knocked out American duos Todd Rogers/Ryan Doherty and Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson on their way to the podium. In the bronze medal match, the Austrians played Brazilians Ricardo Alex Costa Santos, a three-time Olympic medalist, and his partner Álvaro Magliano de Morais Filho, whom they defeated in two sets, both 21-18.
1. Rosenthal - Dalhausser USA 
2. Nicolai - Lupo ITA 
3. Huber - Seidl AUT 
The Chinese team of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi ruled the women’s division, winning the gold medal without dropping a set the entire tournament. Xue is a Fuzhou native and had the home crowd behind her, winning the final match versus Spain’s Liliana Fernández Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan with clear dominance 21-14, 21-10.
Jen Kessy and April Ross were the only American team to make it past the first round of the tournament, but ultimately lost to the eventual bronze medalist team of Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler of Germany in a tight, three-set match.
1. Xue - Zhang Xi CHN 
2. Liliana - Baquerizo ESP 
3. Holtwick - Semmler GER 
Originally published in July 2013