Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske and Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk are in their respective quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Rome.
Hughes and Kolinske, seeded sixth, took it to 11th-seeded Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland on Thursday 21-19, 21-9.
They will play another Swiss pair, 22nd-seeded Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich, on Friday. Verge-Depre and Heidrich repeated their Olympic bronze-medal victory over Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka, beating them this time 24-22, 21-10.
Brunner and Schalk, seeded 19th, play third-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. They beat 33rd-seeded Piotr Kantor and Maciej Rudol of Poland 20-22, 21-17, 15-11.
Brouwer and Meeuwsen advanced with a 21-18, 21-13 victory over 23rd-seeded Italians Daniele Lupo and Alex Ranghieri.
Here’s the quarterfinal breakdown:
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships: Women
Mariafe Artacho/Taliqua Clancy, Australia (8) vs. Svenja Muller/Cinja Tillmann, Germany (16)
Sophie Bukovec/Brandie Wilkerson, Canada (20) vs. Valentina Gottardi/Marta Menegatti, Italy (43)
Joana Heidrich/Anouk Verge-Depre, Switzerland (22) vs. Sara Hughes/Kelley Kolinske, USA (6)
Melissa Humana-Paredes/Sarah Pavan,Canada (10) vs. Duda Lisboa/Ana Patricia Silva,, Brazil (2)
FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships: Men
Guto Carvalhaes/Alison Cerutti, Brazil (13) vs. Anders Mol/Christian Sorum, Norway (8)
Andre Loyola/George Wanderley, Brazil (5) vs. Saymon Barbosa/Bruno Schmidt, Brazil (24)
Kusti Nolvak/Mart Tiisaar, Estonia (22) vs. Vitor Felipe/Renato Lima, Brazil (12)
Theo Brunner/Chaim Schalk USA (19) vs. Alex Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen
Two other USA pairs were knocked out in the round of 32.
And Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb, seeded 11th, had to forfeit because of a positive COVID test, giving Nolvak and Tiisaar a spot in the quarters. Sponcil and Cannon and Bourne and Crabb took home $11,000 each.
Other matches of note
Artacho and Clancy bounced top-seeded Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam of the Netherlands 21-15, 23-21.
Both Canadian women’s pairs had to go three to get through.
Pavan and Humana-Paredes, who won the World Championship title the last time it was played in 2019, rallied to beat seventh-seeded Brazilians Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti 16-21, 21-11, 18-16.
Wilkerson and Bukovic got past 13th-seeded Germans Karla Borger and Julia Sude 19-21, 21-19, 15-10.
The Italians, Valentina Gottardi and Marta Mengatti are a most unlikely pair in the quarters after being seeded 43rd. They knocked out another Italian pair, 12th-seeded Margherita Banchin and Claudia Scampi 25-23, 21-15.
The big upset on the men’s side was when Saymon Barbosa and Bruno Schmidt knocked off fourth-seeded Qataris Cherif Samba and Ahmed Tijan, the Olympic bronze medalists, 21-19, 21-19.