Women's competition, Milan
From 1 September To 5 September 2004

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"Sister Act II" Saturday Morning at Beach Volleyball's Alice Italian Open
Milan, Italy, September 4, 2004 - It was something that was always hoped for, but now it is a reality as the Bede sisters of Brazil will face each other Saturday afternoon after Shelda and Shaylyn teamed with different partners here Saturday morning to post winner's bracket victories.

With three sets of sisters from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Finland still competing together in the contender's bracket of the US$180,000 Alice Italian Open at the Arco della Pace (Arc of Peace) - Piazza Sempione and two other sites, Shaylyn and Renata Ribeiro will challenge Shelda and Adriana Behar at 5 p.m. at the 5,000-seat Centre Court with the winner advancing to Sunday's semi-finals.

The match will mark the first head-to-head international meeting between the two sisters. Shelda and Adriana are the top-seeded team in the competition and are seeking their 32nd SWATCH-FIVB World Tour title as they are playing in their 87th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together.

Both Brazilian tandems scored opening winner's bracket matches victories Saturday morning over teams from Italy. While Shelda and Adriana were posting a 21-19 and 21-17 win over ninth-seeded Laura Bruschini and Annamarie Solazzi, Shaylyn and Ribeiro netted a 21-18 and 21-14 victory over fourth-seeded Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta.

"This will be a very competitive match," said Mônica Rodrigues, the Atlanta 1996 Olympic silver medallist. "Although Shelda has won all those titles and two Olympic medals, Shaylyn is becoming a very experienced defender like her sister. The key is if the young ones handle the pressure."

While Shelda and Adriana have been playing together since November 1995 with two FIVB World Championship gold medals to their credit (1999 and 2001), Shaylyn and Renata are playing in 14th FIVB event since their first-ever SWATCH start together here last September when they placed 25th.

Shelda is nine years older than Shaylyn, who will turn 23 in December while her sister will be 32 on January 1. Ribeiro is five days older (December 7) than Shaylyn. Adriana is the "senior" citizen of the group since she was born on Valentine's Day in 1969.

With a fifth-place guaranteed, Shaylyn and Ribeiro are one victory away from posting their first "final four" finish together on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour. The pair posted a fifth at the 2003 FIVB World Championships in Rio de Janeiro last October before placing fifth at July's Norway stop.

Adriana, who clinched the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour point's title with Shelda by winning their first match Friday, said "we'll play to beat Shaylyn and Renata like any other team we play. Although we have the edge with experience, they are young and very skilled. We'll force the action. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the pressure of playing us and qualifying for the semi-finals."

The Brazilian wins over-shadowed the two other winner's bracket matches Saturday where seventh-seeded Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova of the Czech Republic upset second-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil a 25-23 and 21-18. Also advancing to the fourth-round of the winner's bracket with Saturday was third-seeded Nicole Schnyder and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland

The 2004 European championships, Schnyder and Kuhn defeated sixth-seeded Ethel-Julie Arjona and Virginie Kadjo of France 15-21, 21-18 and 15-11. The Swiss will also play Celbova and Novakova for spot in Sunday's semi-finals. Sunday's action begins at 11:30 a.m. with the gold medal match to be played at 4 p.m. where the winning team will share the $27,000 first-place prize.