COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 26, 2017) – In a recent Instagram post, beach volleyball player Phil Dalhausser points out that there is a street named after him near his alma mater, the University of Central Florida.
“Thanks for whoever thought of me,” Dalhausser wrote in the caption.
USA Volleyball doesn’t get to name streets, but Dalhausser, 37, was the first name that came to mind when it was time to select the 2017 Male Beach Player of the Year.
Dalhausser won the award for the second year in a row and the seventh time in his career.
The timing of Dalhausser discovering Dalhausser Street is not coincidence. He is in the process of moving his family from California back to the Orlando area, where he grew up.
While Dalhausser acknowledges that the transition will have challenges, there are also upsides. He will be closer to family and closer to his partner, Nick Lucena, who lives in Tallahassee.
“He will come down for a week and I’ll go up there,” Dalhausser said. “We will come out to California every five or six weeks.”
By any measure, Dalhausser and Lucena had a successful season with three gold medals and one bronze on the FIVB World Tour (including the finals) and two wins on the AVP Tour, including Manhattan Beach. The FIVB named him Most Outstanding Player, Best Blocker and Best Offensive Player.
He and Lucena have been successful, he said, thanks to their ball control.
“I think we complement each other really well,” he said. “I’m a pretty good blocker and Nick is a really good defender.
“We are both ball-control players. That is probably the most important part of beach volleyball.”
The 2017 tournament that eats at him is the FIVB World Championships, where he and Lucena, who were favorites going in, lost in the quarterfinals to Russia’s Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin.
“We never got in a good rhythm there,” he said. “I think it’s mostly because you play a match every two days. It’s so long and boring. There’s a lot of time to sit around.
“I’ve never figured out how to get into a rhythm in long tournaments. Hopefully I will figure that out for 2019 (World Championships) and use it again in 2020.”
Until then, Dalhausser will be living and training in Orlando and preparing to open the 2018 season with Lucena at the FIVB World Tour five-star event in Fort Lauderdale.
USA Volleyball Male Beach Player of the Year
2017: Phil Dalhausser
2016: Phil Dalhausser
2015: Nick Lucena
2014: Phil Dalhausser
2013: Jake Gibb
2012: Jake Gibb
2011: Phil Dalhausser
2010: Phil Dalhausser
2009: Phil Dalhausser
2008: Phil Dalhausser
2007: Todd Rogers