Manager, Media Relations and Publications
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 21, 2008) - Three U.S. beach volleyball teams will be playing for gold medals on Sunday at the US$600,000 Henkel Grand Chelem in Paris, a SWATCH FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event.
In the women's bracket, the United States is guaranteed two medals as top-ranked Misty May-Treanor (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Kerri Walsh (Santa Clara, Calif.) will play 11th-ranked Tyra Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) and Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.).
In the bronze-medal match, fourth-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) will take on sixth-seeded Jia Tian and Jie Wang of China.
On the men's side, third-ranked Phil Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Todd Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) will play fourth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil of the Netherlands for the gold medal.
May-Treanor and Walsh advanced to their second straight Grand Slam final by defeating compatriots Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), seeded seventh, 21-16, 21-18, in the third round on Saturday. Then they defeated Branagh and Youngs 21-18, 21-18 in the semifinals.
"We like Paris a lot," said May-Treanor, who has posted a 26-2 match mark with Walsh on the sand courts within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. "This a beautiful place with very nice people that really appreciate their Beach Volleyball." I don't know if it is anything special, except that we like the conditions and the surroundings."
Turner and Wacholder beat 16th-seeded Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany, 21-19, 21-18, in the third round and then defeated China's Tian and Jia-Wang, 21-19, 21-17, in the semifinals.
"This is great after not qualifying for the main D\draw last week in Berlin," Turner said. "We have played very steady and consistent this week. We look forward to playing Misty and Kerri. They are such a great team with a lot of accomplishments. It is a great feeling knowing that an American team will be atop the podium tomorrow."
While Brazilian teams have swept all three podium spots at a SWATCH FIVB World Tour event 15 times, the United States is seeking its second 1-2-3 finish internationally. The previous All-USA podium was at the Norwegian SWATCH stop in 2004 when Youngs and Holly McPeak (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) defeated Annett Davis (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jenny Johnson Jordan (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) for the gold medal with Wacholder and Walsh placing third.
Turner and Wacholder are in third place among the three U.S. women's teams battling for the second berth on the Olympic team. May-Treanor and Walsh have secured their ticket to Beijing, while Branagh and Youngs hold a slim lead in the race for second ahead of Boss and Ross and Turner and Wacholder.
In the men's bracket, although four U.S. teams advanced to the second round, only Dalhausser and Rogers and 12th-ranked Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.) made it to the third round.
The eighth-seeded team of Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.) fell to seventh-seeded Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado of Brazil, 14-21, 21-13, 19-17.
Stein Metzger (Honolulu, Hawai'i) and Mark Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.), ranked 18th, lost to 24th-seeded Renato "Geor" Gomes and Jorge "Gia" Terceiro of Georgia, 20-22, 16-21.
Fuerbringer and Jennings were eliminated in the third round when they lost to Nummerdor and Schuil.
Harley and Pedro will play Germany's sixth-seeded David Klemperer and Eric Koreng for the men's bronzed medal.
There is more information on the FIVB beach volleyball site at www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/index.asp.