Men's competition, Carolina
From 9 June To 13 June 2004

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Brazilians Compete for Medals against Argentina & USA Teams
CAROLINA, PUERTO RICO, June 12, 2004 - South American countries got "greedy" here Saturday as two teams from Brazil and one from Argentina advanced to the "final four" of the US$180,000 Carolina Open where they compete against Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States for podium spots Sunday.

Holdren and Metzger won three elimination matches Saturday on "steamy" Balneario de Carolina before gaining their second-ever SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" berth after Australia's Andrew Schacht and Joshua Slack forfeited their final match due to illness.

Prior to the forfeiture, second-seeded Franco Neto and Tande Ramos and 12th-seeded Pedro Cunha and Pará Ferreira of Brazil advanced through the winner's bracket to the semi-finals by defeating teams from Australia and Brazil, respectively.

Seventh-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina earned the last semi-final berth by defeating top-seeded Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran of Brazil 24-22 and 21-17. Baracetti and Conde posted elimination wins over teams from Brazil and the United States before ousting Marcioa Araujo and Benjamin to advance to their second "final four" this season.

Franco and Tande rallied from a 21-12 first set loss to the 11th-seeded Schacht and Slack to capture the next two sets 21-19 and 15-10 to win the 75-minute to advance first to Sunday's semi-finals. Cunha and Pará earned the next semi-final berth by scoring a 17-21, 21-17 and 15-9 win in a 58-minute over Marcio Araujo and Benjamin.

For Holdren and Metzger, the forfeit could not come at a better time. "What a break for us," said Metzger. "We haven't had a lot of breaks this season, but the forfeit for us was huge for us. In addition to saving us physically from playing another match today, we pick up more points for the Olympic qualifying process."

With a guaranteed fourth-place finish, Holdren and Metzger have now added 252 points to their Olympic point total for seven finishes together since January 2003. Holdren and Metzger still need to play in one more SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event before the July 11 deadline to become Olympic-qualified. The pair has amassed 1,764 points for a possible Athens berth.

For eight events, Todd Rogers and Sean Scott have compiled 1,624 points to still rank second on the United States list behind Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard (2,296 points). Once Holdren and Metzger play their first match in the next SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event in Switzerland, they will move into the No. 2 USA spot.

The Carolina Open concludes Sunday with four matches. The gold medal winners will share the $27,000 first-place prize. After the Caribbean stop this week, the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour returns to Europe for the final four Olympic qualifying events in Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Mallorca.