U.S. Teams Win Bronze Medals in Korea, Italy

May 18, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)

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

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 18, 2008) - Bronze was the look for the U.S. beach volleyball teams of Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs and also Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers at SWATCH FIVB World Tour events on Sunday.

On a rainy Sunday in Seoul, Korea, second-seeded Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Elaine Youngs (El Toro, Calif.) of the United States scored a 2-1 (21-19, 13-21, 15-7) victory in 49 minutes over top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil.

Branagh and Youngs shared the $14,000 third-place prize and points toward Olympic qualifying. Branagh and Youngs are second among U.S. women's beach teams trying to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The United States will send two teams to Beijing. The victory was also the Americans' first victory over Juliana and Larissa in four SWATCH meetings. Branagh and Youngs advanced to the bronze-medal match with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-17) victory over countrywomen Tyra Turner (Fort Meyers Beach, Fla.) and Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.), seeded 13th, who finished the tournament tied for fifth.

Juliana and Larissa advanced by defeating the U.S. team of Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.), who also tied for fifth.

In the gold-medal match, Chen Xue and Xi Zhang captured their third SWATCH FIVB World Tour title by defeating Brazilians Shelda Bede and Ana Paula Connelly on the wet centre court sand at the Han River Jamsil Citizen Park.

In the men's SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in Roseto degli Abruzzi, Italy, top-seeded Dalhausser (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Rogers (Santa Barbara, Calif.) defeated second-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, the reigning Olympic champions, in the bronze-medal match, 24-22, 26-24 in 63 minutes to share the $14,000 third-place prize.

Dalhausser and Rogers lead the U.S. men in Olympic qualifying points. In the gold-medal match, third-seeded Brazilians Harley Marques and Pedro Salgado teamed to win for the fifth-time in their last seven international events by posting a 2-1 (20-22, 21-18, 15-8) win over 11th-seeded Julius Brink and Christoph Dieckmann of Germany in 62 minutes.

Brink and Dieckmann were responsible for sending the U.S. team of Matt Fuerbringer (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Casey Jennings (Las Vegas, Nev.), seeded 20th, packing after defeating them 2-0 (24-22, 21-19) in the seventh-place match. The three U.S. women's teams are scheduled to play next weekend at the SWATCH FIVB World Tour event in Osaka, Japan while Jake Gibb (Bountiful, Utah) and Sean Rosenthal (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Fuerbringer-Jennings and Stein Metzger (Honolulu, Hawai'i) and Mark Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) are schedule to play in Zagreb, Croatia.

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