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From 15 June To 19 June 2004

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Country Quota Playoffs Start Women's 1to1 Energy Open Tuesday
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 14, 2004 - Country quota playoffs for the Germany, Switzerland and the United States begins the first of two days of qualifying for the women's 1to1 Energy Open here Tuesday at 9 a.m. to determine four spots in the elimination bracket.

Forty-eight women's teams have entered the fifth-stop on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour as the country quota playoffs will eliminate four of the six German entries, one of the five teams from Switzerland and one of the two tandems from the United States.

Two of the featured country quota matches will have fifth-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason facing 16th-seeded Angie Akers and Rachel Wacholder in the American playoffs while Andrea Ahmann and Jana Vollmer play the winner of the match between 33rd-seeded Rieke Brink-Abeler/Hella Jurich and 39th-seeded Katrin Holtwick/Maria Kleefischfor a German berth in the elimination bracket.

Host Switzerland will have one country quota playoff match when 45th-seeded Muriel Graessli/Romana Kayser plays 47th-seeded Sarah and Tanya Schmocker. Earning direct berths into the Qualification Tournament elimination bracket are the teams of 28th-seeded Isabelle Forrer/Annik Skrivan, 42nd-seeded Francine Courtat/Virginie Leuenberger and 44th-seeded Cinzia Crettenand/Martina Grossen.

Switzerland has already placed three teams into the Main Draw, including Nicole Schnyder-Benoit and Simone Kuhn, who won the European Championships for women last week. The Swiss pair also secured their first-ever SWATCH-FIVB World Tour medal two weeks ago in Japan where they defeated Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri for the bronze medal.

Also competing in the Main Draw for Switzerland are the teams of Dinah Kilchenmann/Lea Schwer and Nadia Erni/Karin Trüssel.

The first of five-straight mixed gender events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the US$360,000 1to1 Energy Open will see eight women's teams advance from the Qualification Tournament Wednesday to the 32-team Main Draw.

The women's Main Draw starts Thursday and concludes Saturday when the final two teams compete for the $27,000 first-place prize. The 1to1 Energy Open is the fifth women's event on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after opening stops in Brazil, Greece, China and Japan.