Women's competition, Mallorca
From 6 July To 10 July 2004

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Fresher Germans Await Possible All-European Beach Volleyball Finale
SANTA PONSA, MALLORCA, July 10, 2004 - Despite playing one more match, it was Suzanne Lahme and Danja Musch that were the fresher team here Saturday as the German tandem awaits the winner of the match between Brazil and the Czech Republic for their women's gold medal opponent in the US$360,000 Mallorca Open.

In defeating Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst 21-18, 15-21 and 15-8 in 53 minutes, the Germans appeared to be strong at the finish as the Australia's were playing their 15th set in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event compared to Lahme and Musch's 13th.

"I don't know if that was the case since we played one more match Friday afternoon," said Musch, who is headed to the Beach Volleyball competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for the third-time. "We just played our game and used a strong start in the third set (5-1 lead) to secure the win."

Seeded second in the eighth women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event this season, Lahme and Musch will play the winner of the second semi-final match between top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva/Larissa Franca of Brazil and 11th-seeded Eva Celbova/Sona Navokova the Czech Republic.

The winner of the Brazil/Czech Republic match will be competing in their first-ever international gold medal contest. Felisberta Silva and Larissa finished third earlier this year in Brazil for their only podium placement while the Celbova and Navokova have three bronze medal finishes together.

If the Czechs win, it will be the first women's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour All-European final since last season in China where Lahme and Musch were defeated by Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk of the Netherlands in the gold medal match.

"We don't care who we play," added Musch, who has been playing with her partner since 2002 when Lahme left the indoor game for the sand. "Suzanne was such a great indoor player and she has made a quick transition to the beach. She has probably played more volleyball than any other player on this tour."

Saturday's "final four" also marks the 11th-time in 113 women's SWATCH-FIVB World tour events that teams from four different countries have competed in the semi-finals. Saturday's gold medal winners will share the $27,000 first-place prize while the losers split $18,000.

The fourth-seeded Lochowicz and Pottharst, who played in their first semi-final match together, will be competing for the bronze medal and a share of the $14,000 third-place prize where the losers split $11,000 for fourth-place.

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