McPeak/Youngs Set To Face May/Walsh After Quarterfinal Win

Aug. 22, 2004

AP Sports Writer

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - America's two beach volleyball duos won Olympicquarterfinal matches Sunday to set up a showdown for a berth in the gold-medalmatch.

Fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated the eighth-rankedGerman pair of Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau 21-17, 21-17 before top-seeded MistyMay and Kerri Walsh ousted No. 16 Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin of Canada21-19, 21-14.

'We have been wanting to play them for a long time. We know they've got alot more pressure on them' Youngs said of her friendly American rivals.

'I'm so proud of both of our teams for getting this far,' Walsh said.'But we want to come out on top tomorrow.'

McPeak and Youngs have been the top team in the world this summer, with sixwins and 13 top-10 finishes. May and Walsh were the best before that, winning90 consecutive matches and 15 straight events until May injured her abdominalmuscle.

May and Walsh have won 16 of 18 meetings in the series, including the last13. McPeak said she and Youngs are ready for the rematch.

'We've lost to them a bunch, but a lot of times because we haven't playedour best volleyball,' said McPeak, the sport's winningest female player.'We've really hit our stride this summer and we haven't been able to face thatteam when we're at our strengths. I'm looking forward to it.'

McPeak and Youngs controlled their quarterfinal match from the start, whileMay and Walsh struggled early. Dumont and Martin led 18-17 in the opening setbefore the 6-foot-3 Walsh put away consecutive spikes to start a clinching 4-1spurt. The Americans never trailed in the second set.

May and Walsh are the only team - men's or women's - which hasn't dropped aset in Athens. They haven't lost a set to McPeak and Youngs since August 2003,a span of seven matches.

'Now it's 0-0,' May said. 'Those matches don't count. Kerri and I justneed to concentrate on what we do on our side, and everything will fall intoplace.'

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