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

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Host Greece Snares Olympic Women's Beach Volleyball Victory
Athens, Greece, August 14, 2004 - Vasso Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri did not "disappoint" their hometown fans here Saturday in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games as the top women's team from Greece defeated their Hilda Gaxiola and Mayra Garcia of Mexico.

With their 21-17 and 21-13 win in 46 minutes over the Mexicans, Karadassiou and Sfyri now face Summer Lochowicz and Kerri Pottharst of Australia in their second of three pool play matches Monday at 10 p.m.

"Speechless" is how Karadassiou expressed her feelings after Saturday's match under the lights at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre before an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 6,000. "I can not say anymore right now. Efi and I have waited six long years to play the world's best Beach Volleyball players in our hometown."

Monday's match will not be easy for the Greeks as Lochowicz and Pottharst scored 21-18 and 21-18 win over Tian Jia and Wang Fei of China in a 45-minute Pool F match. Pottharst is a two-time Olympic Beach Volleyball medallist as she captured the bronze in 1996 and the gold in 2000 with Natalie Cook.

Cook and Nicole Sanderson gave Australia their second win Saturday by posting a 21-16 and 21-12 Pool E win in 40 minutes over the Yanchulova sisters (Lina and Petia) of Bulgaria. Cook and Sanderson return to action Monday noon against China's Lu Wang and Whenhui You, who dropped a 21-17 and 21-18 decision to Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau of Germany in 46 minutes.

In women's Pool D, two North American teams posted wins as Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs from the United States defeated Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide of Norway 21-14 and 21-14 in 38 minutes.

Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin of Canada, who play McPeak and Youngs Monday at 11 p.m. Monday, upset Nicole Schnyder and Simone Kuhn of Switzerland, the 2004 European Champions, scored a 21-16 and 21-13 win in 39 minutes.

Saturday's play was the first of six days of women's pool play where 16 of the 24 teams in the competition will advance to the elimination bracket. The women's medal matches are scheduled for August 24.