Modena, Italy, May 12, 2006 - Here is your Friday report from the US$200,000 Play Station Portable Italian Open on the sisters on the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The Schwaigers from Austria and the Salgados from Brazil are still competing entering the final two days of Beach Volleyball action at the Foro Boario.
· The 24th-seeded Schwaigers (Doris and Stefanie) of Austria won three matches Friday, including a 17-21, 23-21 and 15-10 win over third-seeded Renata Ribeiro and Talita Antunes of Brazil. With the win, the Schwaigers have now matched the best finish on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour for a team from Austria. Sara Montagnolli and Sabine Swoboda finished seventh at last August’s SWATCH stop in Montreal where the Schwaigers placed ninth for their best previous finish on the senior international Beach Volleyball event. The Austrian sisters did claim a bronze medal at the2005 SWATCH-FIVB U-21 World Championships at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “We are very happy, but very tired,” said 19-year old Doris Schwaiger. “This is a good win, especially since we were down 14-7 to the Brazilians in the second set,” said 21-year old Stefanie Schwaiger. “The big difference this year is that we are more confident and our technique has improved.” The Schwaigers play fifth-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil in one of Saturday's opening elimination matches.
· The 12th-seeded Salgados (Carolina and Maria Clara) of Brazil rebounded from an opening setback Friday to fourth-seeded Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs of the United States to advance to Saturday’s first elimination matches against sixth-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti and Vasso Karadassiou of Greece. The Salgado’s secured a spot in Saturday’s schedule with a 21-17 and 21-17 win over 23rd-seeded Rieke Brink-Abeler and Hella Jurich of Germany.
· The 26th-seeded Nystrom (Emilia and Erika) twins of Finland dropped both of their matches Friday to teams from Brazil after posting a pair of upsets Thursday. After losing to second-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca, the Nystroms were eliminated from the competition by losing 21-12, 20-22 and 15-7 to Adriana and Shelda. The ninth-place finish matches their best finish on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.
· The Yanchulovas (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria split a pair of matches Friday to place 13th in the season opening SWATCH competition for women. After defeating Makare Wilson and Tyra Turner of the United States before losing 21-18 and 21-15 to Brink-Abeler and Jurich.
SISTER NOTES - Shelda’s sister (Shaylyn) also played in the Play Station Portable Italian Open with Agatha Bednarczuk, but the young Brazilians were eliminated in the country quota round by the Salgados. The Schwaigers, Salgados and Nystroms had to qualify Wednesday for the 32-team Main Draw. While the Schwaigers and Nystroms won both of their preliminary matches Wednesday to qualify out-right for the Main Draw, the Salgados depended on a draw to secure their spot in the “money” rounds. After losing to Chen Xue and Xi Zhang in their second qualifying match, the Salgados were awarded a Main Draw berth when a team from Cuba withdrew from the competition. Carolina Salgado won the 2005 SWATCH-FIVB U-21 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro with Camillinha Saldanha. Carolina and Maria Clara’s mom won a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal in 1994 on South Beach in Miami. The Salgados also won a SWATCH medal last November in Cape Town, South Africa. The Tychnovas (Katerina and Marketa) also competed in the Play Station Portable Italian Open, but failed to advance from the qualifier after being eliminated by Chen Xue and Xi Zhang. Like the Nystroms, the Tychnova have won a FIVB satellite event.
Following Friday’s play, competition resumes Saturday morning with the last four elimination matches along with the two semi-finals. The eighth annual Play Station Portable Italian Open concludes Sunday when the final two teams compete for the $32,000 first-place prize. Round two on the women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour will be staged May 24-28 in Shanghai where the men open their international season.