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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

USA's Metzger, Holdren blow lead in falling to Norwegians

Advertiser News Services

ATHENS, Greece — History repeated itself for Stein Metzger and Dax Holdren.

It was not a good thing.

USA's Stein Metzger, a Punahou School alum, hits through the block of Norway's Bjorn Maaseide. Norway won, 14-21, 21-16, 16-14.

Gannett News Service photos

Norway's Iver Horrem and Bjorn Maaseide came back from a one-game deficit yesterday to beat Metzger and Holdren, 14-21, 21-16, 16-14, at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.

Metzger, a Punahou graduate, and Holdren are now 1-1.

The match was similar to the first meeting between the teams two months ago in Brazil. Team USA won the first game, then lost the next two.

"We blew it," Metzger said. "We had a lot of opportunities. We just couldn't finish the second and third sets. There is nothing we are going to change for our third pool match against the Brazilians. To win at this level, you must be able to close out a match."

Metzger and Holdren play Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos, the top seeds and reigning world champions, tomorrow. The 12th-seeded Americans are 1-2 against the world's best team, with a victory last September.

Rego and Santos (2-0) have clinched a place in the 16-team elimination bracket. Metzger and Holdren could have done the same with a victory over the Norwegians, who are the lowest seeds in the tournament.

The Americans held off one match point in the third game, but at 14-15, Horrem blasted a serve that nicked the net cord and bounced off the line, out of Holdren's reach.

"A heater on the net cord and down the line. What are you going to do?" Metzger said.

Austria's Nikolas Berger, a former Hawai'i player, shoots a pass to partner Florian Gosch.
Metzger said he and Holdren have moved aboard the Queen Mary II "with George Bush (Sr.), three kings and the NBA stars." There are bomb-sniffing German shepherds on board.

A visit from British Prime Minister Tony Blair put the ship in a "total lock down," according to Metzger, and caused American beach players Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs some anxious moments as they were late leaving for their match.

Former 'Bow Berger triumphs for Austria

Former Rainbow Nikolas Berger and his substitute partner, Florian Gosch, won the battle of Austria yesterday. Berger and Gosch, who took over when Berger's regular partner injured his knee last month, defeated Robert Nowotny and Peter Gartmayer, 21-17, 21-17, in Pool C.

Berger had nine kills, two aces and 12 digs. He and Gosch are 1-1 going into tomorrow's final pool-play match.

Athens2004.com contributed to this report