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  Modena  2006   Women's Open
11.05.2006 -  14.05.2006


Play Station Portable Italian Open - Saturday Storylines

Modena, Italy, May 13, 2006 - Here are developing storylines entering women’s Beach Volleyball action in the US$200,000 Play Station Portable Italian Open, the season opening event on the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.


·           The two top-seeded teams have advanced to the “final four” as expected after the teams of top-seeded Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh of the United States and second-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil rallied to capture three-set winner’s bracket quarter-final matches Friday evening over teams from the United States and China, respectively.


·           May-Treanor and Walsh, the winningest women’s team in American Beach Volleyball history, are competing in their 40th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Event.  The Americans have won 21 international titles with a 226-29 match mark since forming their partnership in 2001.  The reigning Olympic and World Champions, May-Treanor and Walsh have now shared $911,140 in international winnings to rank second behind Brazilians Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede ($1,978,115).  On the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, May-Treanor and Walsh have won 97 of their last 101 matches.  Two losses were forfeits at the June 2004 Berlin stop, the third was to Rachel Wacholder and Elaine Youngs in Paris at the end of July 2005 and the fourth to Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca in the 2005 Acapulco gold medal match last October.  This is their 74th domestic and international tournament together with $1,579,215 in combined earnings with 49 titles in 60 gold medal matches and a 395-37 match mark.  May-Treanor and Walsh have won two SWATCH-FIVB World Championships (a 2003 win over Adriana and Shelda in Rio de Janeiro and a 2005 title over Juliana and Larissa) and one Olympic gold medal (2004 at Athens over Adriana and Shelda).  May-Treanor won three FIVB titles with her 2000 Olympic partner Holly McPeak in 2000.  While May-Treanor was sidelined with an abdominal strain injury in 2004 prior to the Athens Olympics, Walsh won two SWATCH gold medals with Wacholder.  May-Treanor and Walsh have now advanced to nine-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour semi-finals.  During that streak, the Americans have compiled a 55-2 record with seven gold medals and eight podium placements.  For the 2006 domestic and international season, May-Treanor and Walsh have a 15-0 record with $81,000 in earnings with two titles.

·           Juliana and Larissa are playing in their 26th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together.  The pair now has 19 “final four” finishes together, including 2004 gold in Mallorca, and 2005 titles in Shanghai, Milan, Gstaad, St. Petersburg, Montreal and Acapulco.  The pair has now reached 16 women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour semi-finals in their last 17 starts.  With $545,750 in earnings together to rank fourth on the all-time SWATCH list.  Juliana and Larissa are the fastest women’s team to reach the $500,000 in history.  The pair has a 138-31 FIVB career match mark together, including 4-0 record this season.  The $409,750 earnings for Juliana and Larissa in 2005 was a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour single-season record for both men and women breaking the previous mark of $332,000 by Emanuel Rego and ZeMarco deMelo of Brazil in 1996.  On the Brazilian domestic tour this season, Juliana and Larissa have compiled a 29-1 mark with five titles in six starts.  Including the four Modena wins so far, Juliana and Larissa have now won 29-straight matches this season.


·           Six other teams remain in the competition, including fourth-seeded Wacholder/ Youngs of the United States, fifth-seeded Adriana/Shelda of Brazil and sixth-seeded Vassiliki Arvaniti/Vasso Karadassiou of Greece.


·           Adriana and Shelda are competing in their 100th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.  The Brazilians are the winningest team in international Beach Volleyball history with 31 titles, $1,978,115 in winnings and a 520-103 match mark.  Two-time World Champions, Adriana and Shelda have now competed in all eight women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stops in Italy.  The Bazilians have two Italian gold medal finishes (1998 and 2004) along with two seconds (1997 and 2003), two thirds (2000 and 2001), and a fourth (2005).


·           The Wacholder/Youngs and Arvaniti/Karadassiou partnerships are starting their second-season on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.  Wacholder and Youngs will be seeking their sixth “final four” appearance in eight international starts.  Arvaniti and Karadassiou must win two matches Saturday afternoon to advance to four semi-finals in 14 starts.


·           China, which will host the next SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in Shanghai May 23-28, has one team remaining in the competition.  Jia Tian and Jie Wang, who are the 22nd-seeded team in the competition, are 3-1 in the competition after losing late Friday to Juliana and Larissa in a three-setter.  The Play Station Portable Italian Open is the first SWATCH event for Jia Tian and Jie Wang.  Jia Tian finished third on the SWATCH tour last season with Wang Fei, including a bronze medal at the 2005 SWATCH-FIVB World Championships in Berlin.


·           Two of the eight remaining teams in the Play Station Portable Italian Open competition had to qualify for the Main Draw by winning preliminary matches.  The qualifiers are the 12th-seeded Salgados and the 24th-seeded Schwaigers.


·           The Salgados (Carolina and Maria Clara) of Brazil rebounded from an opening setback Friday to Wacholder and Youngs to advance to Saturday’s first elimination matches against Arvaniti and Karadassiou.  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.  Maria Clara (23 years old) claimed three medals at the SWATCH-FIVB U-21 World Championships with three different partners, including a 2003 bronze with Carolina in Saint Quay Portrieux, France.  Maria Clara teamed with Shaylyn Bede to win the inaugural U-21 world title in 2001 at Le Lavandou, France.  Maria Clara was third in the 2002 U-21 finals with Talita Antunes in Catania, Italy.  Carolina (18 years old) has been the most successful participant to date in the SWATCH-FIVB World Championships for players under 21.  In three U-18 World Championships, Carolina was fourth in 2002 with Isabel Grael (Xylokastro, Greece), and second in both 2003 and 2004 with Barbara Figueiredo at Pattaya, Thailand, and Termoli, Italy, respectively.  In three U-21 World Championships, Carolina placed third in 2003 with her sister (Maria Clara) at Saint Quay Portrieux, France, before capturing the gold medals in both 2004 (Taiana Lima) and 2005 (Camillinha Saldanha) in Porto Santo, Portugal, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, respectively.  Carolina and Maria Clara became the first daughters of SWATCH medalists (Isabel) to capture a podium berth when they placed third at the 2005 season finale in Cape Town, South Africa.  The Salgado's brother (Pedro) has competed on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour along with winning bronze medals at three FIVB challenger/satellite events.  He also captured the 2002 SWATCH-FIVB U-18 World Championship along with placing third in the 2004 U-21 event with two different partners.

·           The 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.  The Schwaigers play fifth-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil in one of Saturday’s opening elimination matches.  Doris is 21 and Stefanie 19.




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