Branagh, Youngs Defeat Germans in Two Sets

Aug. 11, 2008, 11:56 a.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

BEIJING (Aug. 11, 2008) – Enjoying relatively mild temperatures and a light breeze, Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.), ranked fifth, defeated Germany’s eighth-ranked Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau, 21-17, 21-16 in 47 minutes in an Olympic pool play match on Monday at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground.

The victory gives Branagh and Youngs a 2-0 record and puts them in good shape to advance to the Round of 16, which begins on Friday, Aug. 15. They will play their final pool play match at 10 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Aug. 13, against Cuba’s 17th-seeded Imara Esteves Ribalta and Milagros Crespo.

Pohl and Rau fall to 1-1.

On Monday, Branagh was credited with 13 kills, three aces and one dig. Youngs tallied 14 kills, one ace and six digs.

“We wanted to play better tonight because we didn’t feel that we played our best volleyball against Netherlands (on Saturday),” Youngs said. “Nicole played so well tonight. I thought she carried us with her serving, with her defense and with her energy.”

The first set stayed close until the score was tied at 17-17. Branagh used a kill and an ace to spark a 4-0 run that carried the U.S. team to victory.

In the second set, the score was tied 4-4 when Pohl and Rau used four straight kills to gain an 8-4 lead. Youngs got the serve back on a tip and scored three more points on kills to tie the score.

The two teams battled back and forth until the score was tied 13-13. Rau’s serve went long putting the U.S. up by one, then she hit the ball into the net to give the U.S. team a two-point advantage. The Germans never recovered.

Pool E Schedule and Results

Aug. 11: Branagh/Youngs USA [5] def. Pohl/Rau GER [8], 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) 0:46
Aug. 11: Esteves Ribalta/M. Crespo CUB [17] def. Kadijk R./Mooren NED [20], 2-0 (21-11, 21-15) 0:34
Aug. 9 at 7 p.m.: Pohl/Rau GER [8] def. Esteves Ribalta/M. Crespo CUB [17], 2-0 (21-17, 21-19) 0:47
5 09-Aug 18:00 Branagh/Youngs USA [5] def. Kadijk R./Mooren NED [20], 2-0 (21-19, 27-25) 0:50
Aug. 13 at 11 p.m.: Pohl/Rau GER [8] vs. Kadijk R./Mooren NED [20]  
Aug. 13 at 10 p.m.: Branagh/Youngs USA [5] vs. Esteves Ribalta/M. Crespo CUB [17]  

Pool E Standings

Team Points Record
Branagh/Youngs 4 2-0
Pohl/Rau 3 1-1
Esteves Ribalta/M. Crespo 3 1-1
Kadijk R./Mooren 2 0-2