Men's competition, Marseille
From 14 July To 18 July 2004

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Swiss & Brazilians Net First Men's Semi-final Berths
MARSEILLE, FRANCE, July 17, 2004 - The teams of Patrick Heuscher/Stefan Kobel of Switzerland and Benjamin Insfran/Marcio Araujo of Brazil are the first two semi-finalists for the 11th annual men's World Series 13 Beach Volleyball event after winning their opening matches here Saturday morning.

The third-seeded Swiss scored a 24-22 and 29-27 win in 55 minutes over 15th-seeded Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug of Germany after fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo downed eighth-seeded Franco Neto and Tande Ramos 21-14, 13-21 and 15-13 in a 66-minute All-Brazilian match.

"I am glad to get through successfully with that match," said Marcio Araujo after avoiding playing an extra match Saturday before reaching the semi-finals. "It is no fun playing other Brazilians since we compete against each other so much."

While only two of the top four-seeded teams in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event advanced to the "final four" as expected, top-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany were eliminated Saturday morning after losing 22-20 and 21-19 to fifth-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina.

The second-seeded Laciga brothers (Martin and Paul), who won last week's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in Mallorca, placed 13th this week after being eliminated Friday by 24th-seeded Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain.

With three American teams in the World Series 13 women's semi-finals, the United States also advanced one men's team to the "final four" as 14th-seeded Todd Rogers and Sean Scott scored a 21-19 and 27-25 win over Franco and Tande in 54 minutes.

The win was Rogers and Scott's second of the day as they defeated Bosma and Herrera 21-18 and 21-14. Like the Spaniards, Franco and Tande had previously defeated a top-ranked team as they scored a win Friday over Markus Dieckmann and Reckermann to drop the Germans in the elimination bracket.

Baracetti and Conde, who lost Friday to Benjamin and Marcio Araujo, play Christoph Dieckmann and Scheuerpflug for the fourth and final spot in the semi-finals where the winner will play the last Brazilian standing in the men's competition - Benjamin and Marcio Araujo.

The women's semi-finals will also be played Saturday afternoon where top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil plays fourth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan while 17th-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason challenge second-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder.

The fifth of five-straight mixed gender events on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour schedule concludes Sunday with the medal matches. The finals will be played Sunday afternoon where the men's and women's gold medallists each split the $41,500 first-place prizes.