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  Porto Santo  2006   Women's Open
14.09.2006 -  17.09.2006


Germany Nets SWATCH-FIVB World Tour “Final Four” Berth

Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal, September 16, 2006 - With a win here Saturday morning, Rieke Brink-Abeler and Hella Jurich assured Germany a spot in the $200,000 Porto Santo Line/TMN Open “final four” as they play rivals Antje Roder and Helke Claasen for a semi-final berth.

With their 19-21, 22-20 and 21-19 win in 61 minutes over 16th-seeded Sanne Keizer and Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands, the eighth-seeded Brink-Abeler and Jurich matched their career best finishes together on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after placing fifth at international Beach Volleyball events in July at Marseille, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The winners from the All-German semi-final-qualifying match will become the sixth team from the European country to advance to SWATCH-FIVB World Tour “final four” in the 15-year history of the international circuit that started on a Spanish coast in 1992.

The 22nd-seeded Roder and Claasen missed their first opportunity to advance to the inaugural Santo Line/TMN Open “final four” when they dropped a 23-25, 21-16 and 15-12 decision in 58 minutes to second-seeded Tian Jia and Wang Jie of China late Friday evening.

Roder and Claasen, who have also established a career-best SWATCH placement after finishing seventh earlier this season in St. Petersburg, won their last international meeting with Brink-Abeler and Jurich in three sets at the Paris stop in July.  Overall, Brink-Abeler and Jurich lead the SWATCH series with their German rivals 3-1, including a win in the St. Petersburg event.

The successful German team in the finals of the elimination bracket challenges top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil in Saturday’s first semi-final match.  Julliana and Larissa advanced to their 16th-straight international “final four” with a 21-19, 19-21 and 15-12 win in 56 minutes over Brazilian rivals Renata Ribeiro and Talita Antunes Friday evening.

Brazil is guaranteed a second spot in the semi-finals after third-seeded Leila Barros and Ana Paula Connelly won their opening match Saturday by defeating 10th-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen of Norway 21-18, 20-22 and 17-15 in 65 minutes.

Leila and Ana Paula now face the fifth-seeded Renata and Talita for a “final four” spot opposite of the Chinese.  The two Brazilian teams have played once before on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour with Renata and Talita capturing a semi-final win at the 2005 Indonesia Open.

All of Saturday’s matches are being played at the Estadio de Desportos do Porto Santo - Penedo do Sono near the shelter port.  The 12th of 15 stops on the 2006 women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour concludes Sunday with the medal matches as the final two teams compete for the $32,000 first-place prize.

The Porto Santo Line/TMN Open is the 10th and final women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event in Europe this season.  The 2006 campaign concludes with stops in Brazil (September 26-30 at Vitoria), Mexico (October 25-29 at Acapulco) and Thailand (November 1-5 at Phuket).

More news...
11.09.2006 Porto Santo Hosts Inaugural SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Women’s Event  
12.09.2006 Holtwick & Semmler Net German Country Quota Win  
13.09.2006 Porto Santo Hosts Women’s SWATCH-FIVB World Tour  
13.09.2006 Eight Women’s Tandems Gain SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Main Draw Berths  
14.09.2006 Brazil's Juliana & Larissa Clinch SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Points Title  
14.09.2006 German Teams Pickup SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "Slack"  
15.09.2006 Aussies Regroup for SWATCH-FIVB World Tour  
15.09.2006 Claasen & Roder Guaranteed Best SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Finish  
15.09.2006 Juliana & Larissa Continue SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "Final Four" Streak  
16.09.2006 Brazilians & Germans Complete Porto Santo "Final Four" Field  
16.09.2006 Brazilians for Porto Santo Line/TMN Open Gold Medal  
17.09.2006 Brazil's Juliana & Larissa Net "13th" SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Gold Medal