Turner, Wacholder Advance to FIVB Beach Semifinals

June 06, 2008, 7:01 p.m. (ET)

B.J. Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800
E-Mail: bj.evans@usav.org   

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 6, 2008) - The U.S. beach volleyball team of Tyra Turner and Rachel Wacholder will be competing with three teams from Brazil for medals from the GE Money Bank Mazury Open on Saturday after all four teams won semifinal-qualifying matches Friday at the US$350,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour event.

After losing their first chance for a spot in Saturday's semifinals, the sixth-seeded Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) and Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.) rebounded to oust fifth-seeded compatriots Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), 21-17, 21-16, in 42 minutes to advance to a semifinal match in the morning against the 12th-seeded Salgado sisters (Carolina and Maria Clara).

Boss and Ross finish the tournament in fifth place. They are currently third among the U.S. women's teams trying to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, behind Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.) and Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.). Turner and Wacholder are in fourth place. The United States can send two teams to the Olympic Games.

Top-seeded Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro gained the third Brazil berth in the semifinals by posting a 21-19, 21-14 elimination win in 30 minutes over seventh-seeded Rieke Brink-Abeler and Hella Jurich of Germany. 

Second-seeded Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly will be Talita and Renata's first opponent Saturday after advancing with a 21-16, 21-18 win in 41 minutes over Turner and Wacholder.

The two Brazilian teams have played four international matches against each other this season with Shelda and Ana Paula winning the first three and Talita and Renata victorious two weeks ago in Japan.  Turner and Wacholder's only meeting with the Salgados was a Grand Slam victory last August in Austria.

Turner and Wacholder earned their second SWATCH semifinal berth in 12 FIVB starts after winning a bronze medal last June in Paris. Talita and Renata will be playing in their 18th FIVB semifinal as the Brazilians have won 13 medals with a 5-6 mark in title matches after losing to Branagh and Youngs in last week's championship tilt in Barcelona, Spain.

Complete results and photos are available on the FIVB beach Web site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.