Two U.S. Beach Teams to Meet in Phuket Final

Nov. 09, 2008, 2:54 a.m. (ET)
B.J. Hoeptner Evans
Manager, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 8, 2008) - Karon Beach in Phuket, Thailand will host an all-American showdown on Sunday as second-seeded Jen Boss (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) and April Ross (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will take on third-seeded Nicole Branagh (Orinda, Calif.) and Tyra Turner (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.) in the penultimate stop of the SWATCH FIVB World Tour.

In Saturday's semifinals, which were interrupted by rain, Boss and Ross, who are unbeaten in the tournament, fought hard to beat the eighth-seeded Germans Geeske Banck and Anja Gunther, 21-15 14-21, 18-16.

The other semifinal saw Branagh and Turner defeat 13th-seeded Australians Tamsin Barnett and Becchara Palmer, 21-16, 21-12. Branagh and Turner advanced to the semifinal by defeating American compatriots Lauren Fendrick (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Ashley Ivy (Arlington, Texas), 21-13, 21-19, in the consolation bracket.

"My team is playing better and better. Although it's the first time we played together, we combined well. I think Australia are also a great team, with Palmer showing her great form in powerful jump serves and spikes," Turner said through an interpreter in an FIVB release. Turner and partner Rachel Wacholder (Laguna Beach, Calif.) finished fifth in Phuket last year.

"I badly want to take on Boss and Ross in the final just because I want to avenge them for the loss on Friday, the first time we played them. As they have been playing together for more than two years, Branagh and I teamed up just for the first time.

"Still, I'm confident that we can beat them. It must be an exciting match in the Sunday's final. After the Phuket Thailand Open, my team will travel to China for the Sanya Open. I hope to have a great time there," she added.

For more information on the FIVB event in Thailand, visit the FIVB web site.