Women's Olympic Games, Athens GREECE
From 14 August To 24 August 2004

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Germany Nets Second Seed Break-through
Athens, Greece, August 19, 2004 - The German women are now two-for-two in winning matches that help improve their chances for an Olympic Beach Volleyball medal as Suzanne Lahme and Danja Musch upset Anna Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires of Brazil here Thursday in their final pool play match.

With an 18-21, 21-15 and 15-11 in 53 minutes over Ana Paula and Pires, the Germans secured the third-seed in the 16-team elimination round where they will be competing in the bottom part of the bracket with second-seeded Adriana Behar/Shelda Bede of Brazil and sixth-seeded Summer Lochowicz/Kerri Pottharst of Australia.

Stephanie Rau and Okka Rau followed the same route as their German team mates Wednesday as they upset Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson to gain the fifth-seed from the Australia. The American teams of Misty May/Kerri Walsh and Holly McPeak/Elaine Youngs will be in the top half of the single-elimination bracket with Pohl and Rau as the first- and fourth-seeded teams.

While the teams of McPeak/Youngs and Lochowicz/Pottharst secured their seeds Wednesday, the top two seeded teams secured their third-straight pool play wins Thursday. May and Walsh posted a 21-17 and 21-17 win over Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova of the Czech Republic.

"It was a pretty difficult game," said May, who missed the last three SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events due to an abdominal strain. "The Czechs are difficult to play because of their size and strength. The key is moving them around the court on defense. We did not do a good job of attacking them. Part of the reasons is that they were well prepared and did a good job covering our attack."

In a meeting of the teams that competed for the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour gold medal in Berlin in late June, Adriana and Shelda advanced unbeaten with a 21-14 and 21-19 win over Dalixia Fernandez Grasset and Tamara Larrea Peraza of Cuba.

Other women's teams advancing as No. 2 teams from their pool were Guylaine Dumont/Annie Martin of Canada and Vasso Karadassiou/Efi Sfyri of Greece as the teams finished with 2-1 match marks in Pool D and F, respectively.

Host Greece also advanced Vasiliki Arvaniti and Efthalia Koutroumanidou to the Round of 16 on the strength of a 21-11, 21-23 and 15-12 win in the final pool play match of the preliminary before more than 9,000 fans at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.

Joining the Greeks as the four best third-place finishers in pool play were Daniela Gattelli/Luciilla Perrotta of Italy (Pool B), the Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria (Pool E), Tian Jia/Wang Fei, China (Pool F).