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

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Walsh & Wacholder Complete All-American World Series 13 Women's Final
MARSEILLE, FRANCE, July 17, 2004 - With cooler than expected weather conditions with a stiff Mediterranean breeze in the air, Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder of the United States stormed into the gold medal match here Saturday afternoon with a convincing semi-final win in the eighth annual women's World Series 13 Beach Volleyball event.

With a 21-14 and 21-14 win in 35 minutes over 17th-seeded Carrie Busch and Nancy Mason in an All-American semi-final, Walsh will have a chance to defend her World Series 13 title that she won here last year with Misty May against United States rivals Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan Sunday afternoon.

"She is feeling a lot more comfortable with me as compared to our first event together in Norway two weeks ago," said Walsh about Wacholder, who is subbing for the injured May. "We definitely took advantage of Carrie and Nancy's ball handling mistakes in on this breezy day. We are looking forward to playing Netty and Jenny tomorrow."

The United States secured the top two spots on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour podium Sunday when the fourth-seeded Davis and Johnson Jordan posted their seventh-straight World Series 13 win earlier Saturday by defeating top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil 21-19 and 21-14 in the 35-minute first semi-final match.

Davis and Johnson Jordan will be seeking their second World Series 13 title after capturing the gold medal in 2000. The pair also finished second here in 1999 when Marseille hosted the FIVB World Championships.

After winning June's SWATCH-FIVB World Tour stop in Switzerland with Walsh, May could not continue in Berlin after winning their first match in the German Grand Slam. May missed an early June domestic event in Southern California due to an abdominal strain.

"We made some adjustments in our game after playing with each other in Norway," said Wacholder, who is now guaranteed her biggest pay check in her Beach Volleyball career. "Kerri is such an awesome player. She and Misty are a great combination, and I am glad that I have the chance to play with Kerri against the best competition in the world."

Prior with playing with Walsh the last two events, Wacholder had failed to advance from country quota playoffs this season with Angie Akers in events in Switzerland and Germany. When May returned to her Southern California home to rehab her injury, Walsh teamed with Wacholder to place third in Norway where they dropped a 21-19 and 22-20 winner's bracket decision to Davis and Johnson Jordan.

The fifth of five-straight mixed gender events on the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, the World Series 13 concludes Sunday with the medal matches for both men and women where the winning teams will each share the $41,500 first-place prize.