Women's competition, Berlin
From 22 June To 26 June 2004

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Brazilian Victory Nets 78th "Final Four" Berth
BERLIN, GERMANY, June 25, 2004 - For the seventh-time in their last eight meetings with Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil defeated their third-seeded American rivals by winning the last two sets of their match here Friday in the US$600,000 Smart Grand Slam.

Playing in a light rain, the second-seeded Brazilians rebounded from a 21-18 setback to McPeak and Youngs in the first set to capture the next two sets 21-17 and 15-11 in the 61-minute semi-final qualifying match in the women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.

With four-straight Beach Volleyball wins this week, Adriana and Shelda have now advanced to an "final four" for the 78th-time in 85 international starts together. The Brazilians, who have a 7-5 match mark against McPeak and Youngs, have now advanced to six-straight semi-finals this season with one gold (Japan), two silver (Brazil and Switzerland) and two bronze (Greece and China) to their credit.

"We changed our serving strategy in the final two sets," said Adriana about her team's plans in winning the final two sets. "Shelda made some big plays and we were able to convert those efforts into points. All our matches with Holly and Elaine are close. We are also happy to be able to play only one match today with these weather conditions."

In addition to the win, Adriana and Shelda are now the No. 2-ranked team in the world on the Olympic qualifying list. Misty May and Kerri Walsh, who have defeated Adriana and Shelda twice in SWATCH-FIVB World Tour finals in Brazil and Switzerland, this season are atop the rankings with 3,960 points.

With a guaranteed 420 points for finishing fourth or better in the Smart Grand Slam, Adriana and Shelda have moved ahead of Brazilian rivals Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires by two points (3,476 to 3,474) with two more events left in the Olympic qualifying process in Norway and Mallorca.

"We are disappointed that Sandra could not compete this week due to her injury (calf), but we are looking to get the best possible seed in Athens," added Adriana, who won the silver medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Shelda. The pair also won the 1999 and 2001 FIVB World Championships before being dethroned last October by May and Walsh in Rio de Janeiro.

Friday's first women "final four" qualifier was 12th-seeded Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza. The Cubans scored a 21-12 and 21-14 win in 35 minutes over the ninth-seeded Suzanne Lahme and Danja Müsch.

Both the German and American losers still have a chance to advance to the "final four" with victories in the finals of the elimination bracket Friday afternoon. The "final four" teams will be playing for the $43,000 first-place prize Saturday afternoon.
Press releases
Date Press release
26-Jun-2004 Brazil's Adriana & Shelda Net Smart Grand Slam Gold
26-Jun-2004 Brasileñas Adriana y Shelda conquistan el oro del Smart Grand Slam
26-Jun-2004 Americans Snare Smart Grand Slam Bronze Medal
26-Jun-2004 Cubans Upset Americans for Smart Grand Slam Gold Medal Berth
26-Jun-2004 Las cubanas vencen a norteamericanas por vacante de medalla de oro en Smart Grand Slam
26-Jun-2004 Business As Usual For Brazilians
26-Jun-2004 "Negocio usual" para las brasileñas
25-Jun-2004 Germany & USA Teams Join Brazil & Cuba Tandems in Women's Semi-finals
25-Jun-2004 Brazilian Victory Nets 78th "Final Four" Berth
25-Jun-2004 Brasileñas alcanzan las semifinales por 78 vez
25-Jun-2004 Cubans Delay German Beach Volleyball Celebration
25-Jun-2004 Cubanas retrasan celebración alemana en Voleibol de Playa
25-Jun-2004 Alemania y EE UU se unen a Brasil y Cuba en la semifinal femenina
24-Jun-2004 Four Women's Teams Avoid Smart Grand Slam Elimination
24-Jun-2004 Germany's Lahme & Müsch One Win Away From Smart Grand Slam "Final Four"
24-Jun-2004 Alemanas Lahme y Müsch a un triunfo de semifinales en el Grand Slam Smart
23-Jun-2004 Host Germany Guaranteed Smart Grand Slam Fifth
23-Jun-2004 Anfitrionas de Alemania aseguran quinto lugar en el Gran Slam Smart Femenino
23-Jun-2004 Top German Women's Teams Post Schlossplatz Beach Volleyball Wins
22-Jun-2004 Norwegians Oust Brazilians & Spaniards for Main Draw Berths
22-Jun-2004 Germany's Schmidt Returns to International Beach Volleyball Competition
20-Jun-2004 USA's May & Walsh Lead World's Top Beach Volleyball Players into Berlin