USA player Todd Rogers (right) celebrates a point with teammate Phil Dalhausser against Czech Republic during the men's beach volleyball preliminary during the London 2012 Olympic Games
LONDON (AP) - Defending beach volleyball gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States were knocked out of the Olympics on Friday by Italy.
The Americans were among the favorites to win another gold medal.
Rogers and Dalhausser lost the first set 21-17 and fell behind Paolo Nicolai and Danielle Lupo 12-7 in the second. The Americans tied it 19-19 but lost the final two points and were eliminated when Rogers' spike was blocked back into him by the 6-foot-8-inch Nicolai.
Earlier Friday, Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross beat Switzerland's Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr.