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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, July 29, 2002

Hawai'i's Metzger, Wong earn Portugal Open title

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Ninth-seeded Stein Metzger and Kevin Wong beat two higher-seeded Brazilian teams to win the eighth annual Portugual Open beach volleyball tournament at Espinho, Portugal yesterday.

Metzger, 29, of Manoa, and Wong, 29, of Pearl City defeated fifth-seeded Marcio Araujo and Benjamin Insfran 17-21, 24-22, 15-12 in the 65-minute title match to split the $22,500 first prize.

Wong was named Player of the Tournament.

Before a crowd about about 5,000, the Hawai'i duo withstood three match points in the second set. The victory snapped a string of 14 straight FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title wins by South American teams dating to last year.

"Their serve pressure was too much for us," said Metzger, who won his second FIVB tournament with Wong. "But fortunately they couldn't keep the pressure and Kevin started to handle their service much better."

Metzger and Wong, Punahou and UCLA graduates, were playing in their 24th pro beach volleyball event together. They won their first tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland, last year. This season, they are 38-14 and have won $71,050.

In the semifinals Metzger and Wong defeated third-seeded Jose Loiola and Ricardo Santos 21-18, 21-13 in 45 minutes.

The Portugal Open is the sixth of 10 tournaments on the Federation Internationale de Volleyball tour.

At Rhodes, Greece, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst 21-17 and 21-16 to win the Greek Open, winning their third gold medal of the FIVB season.

It was the first time two United States beach volleyball teams won gold medals on the same day at different sites.