Pete Barrows

Sports Journalist — Pete.Barrows12@gmail.com

Archive for February 2012

Olympians visit with GV club volleyball team

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By Pete Barrows

GVL Guest Contributor 

It was once observed: “It isn’t what you

GVL / Robert MathewsOlympians Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser

GVL / Robert Mathews
Olympians Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser

have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart.”

Taking the phrase to an entirely new plateau, Olympic gold medalist Phil Dalhausser quite literally pocketed that gold during a visit to Grand Valley State University this past Wednesday. After wrapping up an interview, the 6-foot-9 Dalhausser causally undressed a drawn bag, unveiling his 2008 Olympic gold medal, offering all partakers to get a feel for cradling the weight of an Olympic medal.

Dalhausser and his playing partner Todd Rogers, with visited the Grand Valley State University men’s club volleyball team — as well as the visiting Adrian College — while in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Mikasa’s 2012 Winter Beach Bash, an annual volleyball clinic and exhibition held at the Delta Plex.

“(It was a) great experience for a lot of our young guys to hear coaching analysis, life skills and fundamentals from two of the best players in the world at the sport these guys are all playing,” said GVSU head men’s club volleyball coach Todd Allen. “They talked about their diet program, their training program, their workout program they do off court, as well as mental conditioning and what they do for game planning and scouting opponents. (Provided) a lot more than just x’s and o’s on the court for them.”

Allen and Rogers go back to their playing days, when Allen befriended Rogers then-partner Shawn Scott. That relationship paved the way for Allen’s players to experience a practice with Rogers and Dalhausser, who coached a scrimmage between GVSU and Adrian.

“It was a fun, little exhibition game, (and we) got to see two world class athletes,” said senior Erik Pupek “They were very professional, and informal at the same time.”

The team itself is coming off a 0-3-1 appearance at the Hoosier-Illini Classic at the University of Illinois on Feb. 18, but their Olympic coaches-for-a-night have been on an opposite run recently.

Rogers and Dalhauser have paced a new single season record for the most consecutive-victories in a season — 40 — in the Federation Internationale de Volleyball World League, finishing the year as the world’s No. 1-ranked team.

“I’ve actually been having more fun in the last couple of years just because I basically reached the pinnacle with Phil in 2008 and that was kind of the last feather in my cap,” said Rogers, who has said despite being 38 years old, has no plans of retirement. “The next step in our partnership is to hopefully win a gold medal in London. That’s our next big goal.”

Currently at the beginning of their offseason, Rogers and Dalhausser are focused on this summer’s Olympic Games in London and there is not much on the agenda aside from tuning up to defend their title in London.

It remains to be seen whether or not the duo will aim to return to the area in the future, but that aim, of course, would be to return next time with heavier pockets.

sports@lanthorn.com

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Written by peterdbarrows

February 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm