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Phil Dalhausser, Sean Rosenthal advance to final at Long Beach

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Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal will play in the men's final at the World Series of Beach Volleyball
Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross will play in the women's final at Long Beach

Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal needed just 38 minutes to defeat Germans Alexander Walkenhorst and Stefan Windscheif in the semifinals of the Asics World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach.

Dalhausser and Rosenthal advanced to Sunday's finals, as did top Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross for the women.

Dalhausser and Rosenthal, the top men's team in the world and the defending Long Beach Grand Slam champions, won in two sets: 21-13, 21-12. Dalhausser served four straight aces in the second set to give the Americans a 20-9 lead and set up match point.

"This was definitely our best match of the weekend," Rosenthal said. "… We were playing steady and not giving anything away."

The Germans were playing in their first FIVB semifinal.

"They didn't play their best match," Dalhausser said. "I think they might have been a little nervous … so we were fortunate for that."

Dalhausser and Rosenthal will play for gold Sunday against Poland's Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel, who defeated Americans Todd Rogers and Theo Brunner in a semifinal.

Rogers and Brunner play Walkenhorst and Windscheif for bronze.

On the women's side, Walsh Jennings and Ross advanced to the gold-medal match with a 21-14, 21-16 win over Natalia Dubovcova and Dominika Nestarcova of Slovakia.

The Americans will play Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas De Freitas.

Walsh Jennings and Ross attacked aggressively and set the match's tone from the start.

"It felt like we were in the driver's seat," Walsh Jennings said.

In the first set, they built an 18-10 lead, and Ross sealed the win with a deep smash into the corner.

Dubovcova and Nestarcova kept the second set closer at the start. A light but well-placed tap from Dubovcova brought the Slovakian duo to within three at 12-9 in favor of Walsh Jennings and Ross, but the Americans pulled away to a 19-14 lead. Walsh Jennings won match point with a cross.

Walsh Jennings and Ross worked fluidly together, sharing blocking responsibilities.

"Kerri played amazing defense," Ross said. "That's one of the few matches we've played in playoffs where we split-blocked the whole time. She had a great read on them."

Earlier in the day, Walsh Jennings and Ross won their quarterfinal, 21-16, 21-16, over Madelein Meppelink and Marleen Van Iersel of the Netherlands.

The other American women's team in the quarterfinals, Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, lost to Spain's Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan. The Spanish team plays Dubovcova and Nestarcova on Sunday in the bronze-medal match.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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