At 6 feet 9, Phil Dalhausser is one of the tallest players in professional volleyball. When he peered across the net Sunday afternoon, he saw someone taller.
It was 7-footer Ryan Doherty, a player nicknamed “Avatar” for his astounding stature. The giants collided at the net midway through the first set of the AVP Huntington Beach Open, Dalhausser hitting the sand and Doherty and partner John Hyden winning the point in the first of several memorable battles.
“It’s just two tall freaks going at each other,” said Nick Lucena, Dalhausser’s partner. “It’s fun.”
Most of the pleasure was experienced by third-seeded Dalhausser and Lucena, who powered their way to a 21-16,...