U.S.,German pairs reach semifinals of volleyball Brasilia Open

11:09, April 23, 2010      

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World champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross of the United States and Germany's fifth seeds Laura Ludwig and Sara Goller reached semifinals Thursday at the season-opening Brasilia Open.

Both of the two teams have remained undefeated with two wins on Thursday and four in total at the 380,000 U.S. dollars double-elimination event.

The third-seeded Kessy and Ross, the silver medalists of last year's Brasilia Open, started the day with a 21-19, 21-16 victory in 44 minutes over the 11th-seeded Russian Maria Bratkova and Evgenia Ukolova.

They finished the day by beating the surprising American duo of Brooke Hanson and Lisa Rutledge 21-17, 21-14 in 34 minutes.

Ludwig and Goller, the bronze medalists from the event last year, defeated 20th-seeded Nicole Branagh and Misty May-Treanor 16-21, 21-17, 15-2 in 57 minutes before overcoming top-seeded Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca 21-18, 26-24 in 44 minutes.

It was Ludwig and Goller's first win in five attempts against the Brazilians who are the defending champions of the tournament. It also earned them their first trip to the semifinals through the winner' s bracket.

"We are just happy," said Ludwig after the match with the Brazilians. We played two really good matches and we knew we could do this. I can't describe how I'm feeling right now as it is the first time we ever made it to the semifinals through the winner's bracket.

"Tomorrow we will fight for everything again. We are looking forward to the day we get our first gold medal on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour."

The other teams remaining in the contender's bracket with one loss each are Austria's 10th-seeded Sara Montagnolli and Barbara Hansel, China's 17th-seeded Chen Xue and Xi Zhang and Finland's 26th-seeded Nystrom sisters Erika and Emilia.

Friday's matches will determine the final two teams who will meet the Americans and the Germans in Friday afternoon's semifinals.



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