Women's competition, Stavanger
From 29 June To 3 July 2004

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Canada's Dumont & Martin Match Career Best
STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 2, 2004 - Since starting their European swing three weeks ago in Switzerland, Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin are playing their best volleyball of the season as the Canadians won their third-straight match here Friday to move to within one victory of their first "final four" appearance.

Seeded 12th in the US$360,000 ConocoPhillips Open for women, Dumont and Martin scored a 21-14, 18-21 and 21-19 win in 59 minutes over fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil to gain their first shot of qualifying for Saturday's semi-finals.

With a guaranteed fifth-place finish to match their best career Beach Volleyball placement together on the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour, Dumont and Martin challenge top-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs of the United States later Friday with the winner advancing to Saturday's "final four."

"Our play has been very consistent and our confidence is improving with each match," said Dumont after their first win Saturday. "We are pleased with our performance. This is the first-time that we ever won our first three matches in a FIVB event. We have a big challenge ahead of us against the Americans, but we are confident that we will play well.

Even bigger for the Canadians Saturday was their improvement on the Olympic qualifying list for the 2004 Athens Games. With their current 216-point effort for a guaranteed fifth-place finish, Dumont and Martin have increased their point total to 1,424 for their best eight finishes since the start of the Olympic qualifying process in January 2003. The Canadians 17th on the list, just four points behind Italy's Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta (1,428).

After posting a 17th and three 13ths in their first four SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events this season with a 7-8 match mark, Dumont and Martin have now won nine of their last 13 matches. The Canadians, who have posted ninths the last two weeks in Switzerland and Germany, have now put together three-straight top nine finishes for the first-time since starting their partnership at the end of 2002.

Led by McPeak and Youngs, the United States filled the other three spots in the fourth-round of the winner's bracket. McPeak and Youngs scored a 19-21, 21-12 and 17-15 win over 25th-seeded Renata Ribeiro and Shaylyn Bede of Brazil earlier Friday.

The Americans are guaranteed at least one spot in the semi-finals as the teams of second-seeded Kerri Walsh/Rachel Wacholder and third-seeded Annett Davis/Jenny Johnson Jordan will play each other Friday afternoon. Both teams posted their third-straight win of the competition earlier in the day.

Davis and Johnson Jordan scored a 14-21, 35-33 and 15-9 win in 67 minutes over 22nd-seeded Angela Clarke and Kylie Gerlic to advance. Walsh and Wacholder, who are playing together for the first-time, scored a 13-21, 22-20 and 15-10 win over 10th-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen of Norway.