Women's competition, Marseille
From 13 July To 18 July 2004

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Europe vs. Americas in Women's Quarter-finals; Prince Albert of Monaco in Attendance
MARSEILLE, FRANCE, July 15, 2004 - With SAS Prince Albert of Monaco watching the Beach Volleyball action here Thursday, the women's teams from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the United States won the featured matches to advance to the quarter-finals in the US$560,000 World Series 13 event.

An avid sportsman and four-time Olympic competitor in the Bobsled at the 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 Winter Games, Prince Albert was a guest of World Series 13 promoter Marc Crousillat for the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.

While Prince Albert viewed the action on six sand courts at the Plage of Prado, the top two-seeded teams in the women's competition advanced as expect along with fifth-seeded Nicole Schnyder-Benoit and Simone Kuhn, the 2004 European Champions.

The featured match in the third-round of the winner's bracket had sixth-seeded Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova of the Czech Republic upsetting third-seeded Suzanne Lahme and Danja Musch of Germany 21-14 and 22-20. Both teams competed in the "final four" of the Mallorca Open last week where the Czechs scored a 21-16 and 21-14 win over Lahme and Musch in the fourth-round of the winner's bracket.

Schnyder-Benoit and Kuhn advanced to Friday's action by defeating 20th-seeded Alexandra Fonseca and Mônica Rodrigues of Brazil 21-17 and 21-13. The Swiss will play another Brazilian team Friday as they challenge top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca, who defeated ninth-seeded Ethel-Julie Arjona and Virginie Kadjo of France 26-24 and 21-17 Thursday.

Celbova and Novakova play second-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder of the United States in the other match in the fourth-round of the winner's bracket that qualifies a team for Saturday's second semi-final. The Americans scored a 21-10 and 21-14 win over 23rd-seeded Nystrom twins (Erika and Emilie) of Finland.

Felisberta Silva and Larissa won last week's gold medal in Mallorca where they defeated Lahme and Musch in the finals. Celbova and Novakova were third on the Mediterranean island. Walsh won the 2003 World Series 13 title with Misty May, who has been sidelined since June 23 with an abdominal strain.

Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan of the United States, the fourth-seeded team in the eighth annual women's World Series 13, rebounded from their opening defeat Wednesday to win three-straight elimination matches over teams from Norway, Brazil, Spain and France.

The Americans, who captured the 2000 World Series 13 gold medal, play 16th-seeded Kathrine Maaseide and Susanne Glesnes of Norway in their first match Friday. The other opening elimination match Friday has 12th-seeded Lucilla Perrotta and Daniela Gattelli of Italy playing 17th-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason of the United State, who eliminated Lahme and Musch 21-19 and 21-10.

The fifth of five-straight mixed gender events on the 2003 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the World Series 13 continues Main Draw play Friday six women's matches and 20 men's matches. The SWATCH-FIVB World tour event ends Sunday where the winning women's and men's teams each split the $41,500 first-place prizes.