Women's competition, Gstaad
From 15 June To 19 June 2004

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Mexican & Australian Teams Post Elimination Victories
GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, June 17, 2004 - The sixth- and seventh-seeded teams in this week's women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour were eliminated here Thursday afternoon as tandems from Mexico and Australia advanced after posting upset wins.

After winning their first match Thursday over a team from Australia, sixth-seeded Nicole Schnyder-Benoit and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland dropped afternoon contests to Brazilian and Mexican teams to place 17th in the 1to1 Energy Open, which features both men and women competing for US$360,000 in prize money.

The seventh-seeded Australian tandem of Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson followed the same pattern as they won their first match Thursday morning over an Italian pair before losing their next two matches to teams from Cuba and Australia.

Mayra Garcia and Hilda Gaxiola of Mexico ousted the Swiss women 21-18 and 21-19 as Schnyder-Benoit and Kuhn, who won last week's European Championships in Germany. Cook and Sanderson were eliminated by eighth-seeded Australian rivals Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst 21-15 and 21-14. Cook and Pottharst won two Olympic Beach Volleyball medals together, including the gold at the Sydney 2000 Games.

Joining the Garcia/Gaxiola and Lochowicz/Pottharst tandems in Friday morning's opening elimination matches are teams from Australia, Canada, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Germany and Greece. The winner's bracket's opening matches Friday features three teams each from Brazil and the United States along with pairs from Cuba and France.

Top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh of the United States face 24th-seeded Ethel-Julie Arjona/Virginie Kadjo of France, and fourth-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs play fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan in an All-American match up.

In the lower winner's bracket, 11th-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca challenge second-seeded Brazilian rivals Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires, and second-seeded Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar of Brazil play 23rd-seeded Milagros Crespo and Imara Esteves Ribalta of Cuba.

The teams of Arjona/Kadjo and Crespo/Esteves Ribalta are guaranteed their best finishes on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The French team scored wins over teams from Switzerland and Greece Friday. Crespo and Esteves Ribalta upset Cook and Sanderson 21-18, 24-26 and 15-11. Cook and Sanderson had placed second in the last women's FIVB event in Japan after losing to Shelda and Adriana in the finals.

The women's Main Draw concludes Saturday afternoon 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.