Aug. 9, 2008
BEIJING, China - Former UCLA All-American Elaine Youngs, with teammate Nicole Branagh, won their opening match of the women's beach volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Beijing Olympics. The duo recorded a straight-set victory over the Netherlands' Merel Mooren and Rebekka Kadijk 21-19, 27-25.
Youngs and Branagh won a back-and-forth first set, as neither team had more than a two-point lead. The Americans were trailing 19-18 when they scored the final three points to claim the first set.
In the second set, Youngs and Branagh were up 14-7, but the Netherlands' tandem came back to tie the set at 18. Mooren and Kadijk found themselves with another chance to take the set with set point at 25-24, but Youngs and Branagh again netted three straight points to win the second and the Olympic opener.
Next up for Youngs and Branagh are a matchup with Stephanie Pohl and Okka Rau of Germany on Monday at 3 a.m. PT (6 p.m. Beijing Time).