Aug. 17, 2008
BEIJING, China - Former UCLA All-American Elaine Youngs' Olympic run came to an end Sunday, as her and partner Nicole Branagh fell to China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi 21-17, 21-13 in the quarterfinals of the beach volleyball tournament.
Youngs announced her partial retirement following the match, as she is done playing internationally but might still play on the AVP Tour. Youngs and Branagh finish the tournament 4-1 and in a tie for fifth place.
Youngs had 17 kills, four aces, one block and two digs on Sunday.
Youngs and Branagh led by as much as four at 12-8, but could not hold the lead against Chen and Xi. The Chinese duo went on a 7-1 run to go ahead 15-13. The U.S. team got to within one on two occasions, but could not get even. Chen and Xi netted four of the set's final five points to win it 21-17. Youngs and Branagh never led in the second set and were tied on four occasions.
Youngs was competing in her third Olympics and earned a bronze medal during the 2004 Athens Games with partner and former Bruin Holly McPeak. She also won a bronze medal with beach volleyball coach and former UCLA All-American Liz Masakayan at the 1999 World Championships. Youngs has won nearly 40 professional beach volleyball tournaments in her career.