BEACH VOLLEYBALL U.S. team knocks off No. 4 German duo



XATHENS, Greece -- Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger dodged "The Recking Ball" and advanced to the Olympic beach volleyball quarterfinals.
Delivering their best performance of the tournament, the 12th-seeded U.S. duo upset fourth-seeded Germans Jonas Reckermann and Markus Dieckmann 21-16, 19-21, 15-13 Friday in their first match of the medal round.
Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst, who won the gold medal in 2000 and the bronze in 1996, faced off with different partners -- Cook with Nicole Sanderson and Pottharst with Summer Lochowicz.
Cook and Sanderson won 21-15, 21-16.
"We knew this would happen at some stage," Cook said. "It was disappointing in the fact that we had to knock each other out so early in the tournament."
The 39-year-old Pottharst retired last year. She reconsidered later, but Cook had already paired with Sanderson. Pottharst then teamed with Lochowicz and the pair made a late run to Athens, only qualifying last month. They're even sharing an apartment at the Olympic Village.
The American women begin medal round play today. Top-ranked Misty May and Kerri Walsh, who haven't lost a set, face China's Tian Jia and Wang Fei.
Fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, also 3-0 in the preliminary round, open against Czechs Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova.
In other medal round action Friday:
Brazilians Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires overcame a thunderous pro-Greek crowd to beat Vassilliki Karadassiou and Efi Sfyri 21-16, 21-19.
Top-ranked Brazilian men Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos knocked out Norwegians Vegardo Hoidalen and Jorre Kjemperud 21-15, 19-21, 15-6.
Italy's Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta defeated Germany's Susanne Lahme and Danja Musch 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a 75-minute thriller.
Spain's Pablo Herrera and two-time Olympian Javier Bosma ousted Sweden's Bjorn Berg and Simon Dahl 21-16, 21-17.
Associated Press

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