Reigning Olympic Champs Claim AVP Riverside Open Title

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Reigning Olympic gold medalists and top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers moved through the contenders' bracket to win the AVP Crocs Tour Riverside Open on Sunday.

Dalhausser/Rogers beat second-seeded Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal 17-21, 21-19, 15-8 in the final. Up 6-4 in the third game, Dalhausser and Rogers won a marathon point to put the game away.

"I think it just took the wind out of their sails," Rogers said of the point.

Having won the Panama City Beach Open two weeks ago and the Riverside Open Sunday, Dalhausser and Rogers are now a perfect
2-for-2 on the season.

The duo advanced to the finals by beating No. 6 seeds Matt Olson and Kevin Wong 21-19, 21-17 in the quarterfinal, then took out No. 5 seeds John Hyden and Sean Scott in the semifinal 17-21, 21-15, 15-12.

On the women's side, top-seeded Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs
remained perfect on the season as well, beating second-seeded Jen
Kessy and April Ross 21-18, 21-14 to win the title.

Branagh/Youngs had multiple breaks go their way in the match, but the most pivotal came while leading 19-18 in the first game. Branagh dribbled a serve off the tape that fell untouched for an ace and a 20-18 lead, which they parlayed into a one-game lead on the next point and eventually the tournament title.

The two straight tournament wins come at a time when Branagh/Youngs and Kessy/Ross are the two heir apparent to replace
- at least temporarily - the injured Misty May-Treanor and pregnant
Kerri Walsh as the top women's team.