Women's competition, Klagenfurt
From 28 July To 31 July 2004

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Four of Top Five Seeds Compete for A1 Women's "Final Four" Spots
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 30, 2004 - Led by top-seeded Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil, four of the top-five seeded teams in the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam, presented by Nokia, will be competing here Friday afternoon for the first two spots in Saturday's "final four".

Adriana and Shelda, who have missed the last three women's events on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after winning the season's first grand slam event last month in Berlin, scored a 21-17 and 21-14 win over 25th-seeded Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk of the Netherlands to earn a match against fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan of the United States.

The Americans came back from a first set setback to 20th-seeded Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau of Germany to advance to the "final four" qualifying match with a 16-21, 21-17 and 15-13 win. Davis and Johnson Jordan had 10-5 and 11-6 leads in the deciding set before the Germans rallied to tie it at 11-11s.

"The Germans did not give up and kept coming at us," said Johnson Jordan, who has lost three gold medal matches this season with Davis. "We are very inconsistent. We played some very bad volleyball today and were lucky to win. To defeat the Brazilians, we have to play a lot better."

Since 2003 when Davis and Johnson returned to the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour after taking two seasons offs due to child birth, Adriana and Shelda have won five of the seven previous meetings. This season, the two teams have split a pair of matches. The Brazilians won the inaugural A1 event in 2001 when Austria hosted the FIVB World Championships.

Friday's second qualifying match for the women's semi-finals will be an All-American after as third-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder challenge second-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs. It will be the second-time the two teams have met on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour with McPeak and Youngs winning 25-23 and 21-14 in the semi-finals in Stavanger, Norway.

Walsh, who is playing without regular partner Misty May for the third-straight SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event, and Wacholder scored a 21-17 and 21-13 win over the 27th-seeded Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria in their first match Friday. Walsh and May won the last two Klagenfurt titles by defeating Brazilians in the finals, including Adriana and Shelda in 2002

McPeak and Youngs scored their third-straight win of the A1 Grand Slam competition by defeating American rivals Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason 21-13 and 21-13. Since losing to a team from Cuba in the Berlin semi-finals, McPeak and Youngs have won 10-straight FIVB World Tour events, including six in Norway where they captured their second gold medal this season. McPeak and Youngs placed third in the A1 Grand Slam in 2002.

The fourth annual women's competition continues on the Lake Wörthersee lakefront through Saturday when the winning team shares the $40,500 first-place prize in the final SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event before the Athens Olympic Games.