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

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USA Women Capture Last Two A1 Grand Slam "Final Four" Berths
KLAGENFURT, AUSTRIA, July 30, 2004 - It came down to Brazil and the United States competing for the final two berths in the women's "final four" of the US$540,000 A1 Grand Slam here Friday afternoon with the Americans winnng both semifinal-qualifying matches.

Second-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs followed the lead of fifth-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan in advancing from Friday's final elimination matches to the "final four" where they will play Brazil's Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede and American rivals Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder in the semi-finals, respectively.

McPeak and Youngs scored a 21-16 and 21-14 win over Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires to earn their sixth "final four" in seven starts this season. The Americans won SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medals earlier this season in China and Norway where they defeated Davis and Johnson Jordan in the finals.

Davis and Johnson Jordan defeated fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca 21-18 and 21-12 to gain their fifth semi-final berth in eight international starts this season. The "mommies" as they might be called, Davis and Johnson Jordan also dropped a gold medal match to Walsh and Wacholder in France two weeks ago.

"We were really disappointed with our play earlier today," said McPeak about her team's 21-18 and 21-16 setback to Walsh and Wacholder. "We know we are a better team than that. We played much better against Ana Paula and Sandra. They are a good team that was playing better as the tournament progressed. We were able to take advantage of some of their mistakes to win today."

Ana Paula and Pires, who had missed the last three events to due to Pires' calf injury, had to play five-straight elimination matches in an effort to reach the semi-finals after losing Thursday to 23rd-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason of the United States in the second-round of the winner's bracket.

Davis and Johnson Jordan had to play an extra match Friday after losing a three-setter to Adriana and Shelda 21-18, 17-21 and 18-16. The Brazilians have now advanced to their 79th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" in 86 starts together since November 1995.

With regular partner Misty May sidelined with an abdominal strain, Walsh has teamed with Wacholder in three of the last four SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events. With May's help, Walsh won the last two Klagenfurt titles by defeating Brazilians in the finals, including Adriana and Shelda in 2002 and Ana Paula and Pires last year. With Wacholder on her side, Walsh has posted a bronze and gold medal finishes in Norway and Marseille, respectively.

The United States women have now placed three teams in a SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" for the fourth-time this season. The American women placed 1, 2 and 4 in both Greece and France, and 1, 2 and 3 in Norway earlier this season. While Adriana and Shelda have gold medal finishes in Japan and Germany, the United States has won titles in the other seven events, including three by May and Walsh.

Saturday's semi-final winners will play for the $40,500 first-place prize in the 10th of 12 women's events on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The women complete the season with Beach Volleyball events in September at Milan, Italy and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.