Women's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 31 July 2004

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Brazil & USA Net First Two Women's A1 Grand Slam "Final Four" Berths
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 30, 2004 - For top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil, the advancement to the women's "final four" in the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam, presented by Nokia, was expected after winning two matches here Friday over teams from the Netherlands and the United States.

For Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder, their Friday afternoon semi-final qualifying win over second-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs was "surprising" since the third-seeded pair were playing in only their third SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together compared to their opponent's 22nd since the start of the 2002 season.

Adriana and Shelda used a 21-18, 17-21 and 18-16 win in 58 minutes over fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan to advance to their 79th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" in 86 starts together since November 1995. The victory was the sixth in the last eight matches with the Americans since the start of the 2003 season.

Adriana and Shelda, who had missed the last three women's events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after winning the season's first grand slam event last month in Berlin, scored a 21-17 and 21-14 win over 25th-seeded Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk of the Netherlands in their first match Friday.

Walsh and Wacholder scored a 21-18 and 21-16 win in 39 minutes over McPeak and Youngs to advance to their third-straight international semi-final. The victory Friday also avenged a 25-23 and 21-14 setback to McPeak and Youngs in the semi-finals earlier this month in Stavanger, Norway.

With regular partner Misty May sidelined with an abdominal strain, Walsh has teamed with Wacholder for three of the last four SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events. The pair opened play Friday with a 21-17 and 21-13 win over the 27th-seeded Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria.

With May's help, Walsh won the last two Klagenfurt titles by defeating Brazilians in the finals, including Adriana and Shelda in 2002 and Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires last year. With Wacholder on her side, Walsh has posted a bronze and gold medal finish in Norway and Marseille, respectively. The France title was a grand slam gold medal win over Davis and Johnson Jordan.

Despite losing to Adriana/Shelda and Walsh/Wacholder, the two American teams still have a chance for a berth in the A1 Grand Slam "final four" Saturday where the winning team will share the $40,500 first-place prize in the 10th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event for women this season.

McPeak and Youngs, who placed third in the A1 Grand Slam in 2002, will play the seventh-seeded Ana Paula and Pires. The Brazilians, playing in their first FIVB in nearly a month due to a Pires calf injury, has won fourth-straight elimination matches after losing to the United States' Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason Thursday.

Davis and Johnson Jordan play the winner of the All-Brazilian match between fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca and 24th-seeded Renta Ribeiro and Shaylyn Bede. Felisberta Silva and Larissa have already captured a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal this season in Mallorca while Ribeiro and Shaylyn are seeking to match their best career finishes of fifths.