Four teams earned byes into the quarterfinals Thursday with the completion of pool play at the FIVB Swatch Major Series World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany.
Top-seeded Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the USA, second-seeded Evandro Goncalves and Andre Loyola of Brazil, fifth-seeded Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai of Italy and sixth-seeded Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland will wait for the round-of-16 winners, and are guaranteed at least fifth place.
On the women’s side, top-seeded Chantal Laboreur and Julia Sude of Germany, third-seeded Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada, fourth-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa of Brazil, and 10th-seeded Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany won their pools and the bye that comes with it.
Americans April Ross and Lauren Fendrick won in straight sets Thursday over Nina Betschart and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland 21-16, 21-16. Brooke Sweat and Summer Ross stunned Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes of Brazil 21-19, 24-22.
But neither American team was able to guarantee themselves a quarterfinal spot, as Fendrick and Ross lost to Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Lisboa of Brazil, 21-14, 21-17, and Sweat and Ross were defeated by Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany 21-18, 21-12.
Fendrick and Ross will kick things off for the Americans on Friday, facing Joana Heidrick and Anouk Verge-Depre at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. Eastern). Sweat and Ross will follow at 11 a.m. against Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.
Dalhausser and Lucena defeated FIVB World Championship silver-medalists Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria 21-17, 21-19. They advanced to the quarterfinals without the loss of a set and will face the winners of Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada versus Viacheslav Krasilnikov and Nikita Liamin of Russia.
Krasilnikov and Liamin defeated Dalhausser and Lucena three weeks ago in another quarterfinal at the Vienna World Championships, where the Russians earned bronze.
Fellow Americans Casey Patterson and Theo Brunner completed their pool play Wednesday with a 1-1 record, defeating Goncalves and Loyola but losing to Krasilnikov and Liamin in a pair of three-set matches. With the pool deadlocked at 1-1, Goncalves and Loyola’s straight set win over Liamin and Krasilnikov gave them the set tiebreaker and the bye.
Patterson and Brunner will play Germany’s Markus Bockermann and Lorenz Schumann at 6 p.m. local time (noon Eastern), with the winner to face Piotr Kantor and Bartosz Losiak of Poland in the quarterfinals.