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

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American Women Net First Two "Final Four" Berths
STAVANGER, NORWAY, July 2, 2004 - The United States placed the first two teams in the women's "final four" here Saturday with six other Beach Volleyball tandems from five countries still in contention in the US$360,000 ConocoPhillips Open.

Top-seeded Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs scored wins over teams from Brazil and Canada to earn their fifth "final four" spot in six SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events this season. Third-seeded Annett Davis and Jenny Johnson Jordan joined their American rivals in Sunday's semi-finals where both teams have to await Saturday final elimination matches to know their opponent.

McPeak and Youngs advanced to the semi-finals with a 21-14 and 21-19 win in 35 minutes over 12th-seeded Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin of Canada. In an All-American match, Davis and Johnson Jordan scored a 21-19 and 22-20 win over second-seeded Kerri Walsh and Rachel Wacholder to advance to their third "final four" this season.

"Although we have won four-straight matches with only one three-setter, I am glad we don't have to gear up for another match today," said Youngs after her final match Saturday. "After playing seven-straight weeks, we all need more rest and fewer matches."

After placing seventh in March's SWATCH-FIVB season opener in Brazil, McPeak and Youngs have now gained a semi-final berth in their next five international events. When the Americans have won four-straight matches in an event (Greece and China), they have reached the finals. When they drop the fourth-round match in the winner's bracket (Switzerland and Germany), they have earned the bronze medal.

Both the Canadians and Walsh/Wacholder still have a chance for a spot in the semi-finals. Dumont and Martin will play the winner of the match between 10th-seeded Nila Ann Hakedal and Ingrid Torlen of Norway and 16th-seeded Okka Rau and Stephanie Pohl of Germany.

Walsh and Wacholder, who are playing together for the first-time, will face the winner of an All-Brazilian match between fourth-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca and 25th-seeded Renata Ribeiro and Shaylyn Bede. Misty May, Walsh's partner since 2001, is sidelined for this event due to an abdominal strain."

"Rachel is a great replacement," said Walsh. "We are still working things out between us on the court. We only had two days of practice together. It's hard to learn about your partner when you are playing competitive matches against the quality of the opponents we have faced today."