Former Bruin Elaine Youngs Captures Beach Volleyball Olympic Berth

July 5, 2008

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - By virtue of a second-place finish at the Moscow 2008 Grand Slam Tournament, former UCLA four-time All-American Elaine Youngs and beach volleyball partner Nicole Branagh earned the United States' second Olympic berth and punched their tickets to Beijing on Saturday.

Youngs and Branagh fell to China's Chen Xue and Xi Zhang 21-8, 21-18 in the final, but earned enough points this week to eliminate the American team of Jen Boss and April Ross from Olympic consideration with one qualifying tournament remaining. A maximum of two teams from each country are allowed to participate in the Olympics, with the United States' top squad of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh having long-since qualified.

Beach volleyball competition in Beijing begins on August 9 and concludes with the medal rounds on August 21 and 22.

The trip to Beijing will be the second Olympic beach volleyball appearance for Youngs and her third overall Olympics. Youngs earned a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens with partner and former UCLA standout Holly McPeak. She was also a member of the U.S. Indoor Volleyball team in 1996.

Youngs has won over 30 times in the United States and a dozen times internationally. A member of the AVP Crocs Tour, Youngs and Branagh won the Charleston Open on May 10.

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