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Borger spikes against Thailand

Inspired by the home crowd at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Hamburg, Germany’s Karla Borger and Julia Sude topped their pool to advance to the knockout stage. They were one of four teams who went through the women’s pool stage unbeaten, as the quarterfinal line-up was determined on Friday.

· Watch all main draw matches at the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Hamburg live on Volleyball TV.

In their second Pool C match on Friday morning, Borger and Sude upset World Ranking leaders Barbara Seixas and Carol Solberg of Brazil. In a three-set game, the Germans achieved a 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-10) victory. In the late afternoon, Borger and Sude followed up with another three-set win, 2-1 (21-9, 19-21, 15-6) over Thailand’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Taravadee Naraphornrapat, to finish their pool campaign undefeated. In that match, Borger hammered out seven aces, while Sude mounted seven kill blocks towards the win.

“It’s the most consistent we have played this season. We won all three matches in the pool - different opponents, different levels, different challenges... – but now another tournament starts, the knockout rounds,” Julia Sude told Volleyball World. “We haven’t had the opportunity to practice together a lot this season and maybe that’s why we are so calm. We know our strengths and we don’t have high expectations, but, of course, we want to win.”

Borger & Sude v Worapeerachayakorn & Naraphornrapat match highlights

In the decider for the second place in the pool, Barbara and Carol produced a 2-0 (21-12, 22-20) shutout of the Netherlands’ Emma Piersma and Mexime van Driel to progress to the quarterfinals.

Another German team qualified for the quarterfinals from Pool D. Sandra Ittlinger and Isabel Schneider won the direct battle for the second place in the pool against Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Valentina Gottardi. The Germans came back from a set down to claim a 2-1 (16-21, 21-16, 15-13) victory with the help of seven aces from Ittlinger. Fourth-seeded Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Sophie Bukovec confirmed their great performance from Thursday with a third win on Friday, a 2-1 (14-21, 21-15, 15-9) comeback against Switzerland’s Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre, to retain the top of the pool standings.

Both USA’s Kelly Cheng and Betsi Flint and the world’s number two team Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands booked their tickets to the next round as soon as they played their second matches in Pool B and won their second victories, the Americans over Germany’s Sarah Schulz and Chantal Laboureur by 2-1 (20-22, 25-23, 15-13) and the Dutch over second-seeded Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti of Brazil by 2-0 (21-18, 21-15). So when they met each other in the afternoon, it was a battle for the top of the pool, which Cheng and Flint took by 2-0 (21-10, 22-20).

Stam & Schoon v Cheng & Flint match highlights

In the last match of the day, top-seeded Germans Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Muller claimed their first win of the tournament in Pool A, a 2-0 (22-20, 21-18) over Spain’s Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno, but it was not enough for the second place in the pool's standings. The 20-year-old Spanish qualifiers edged the Germans and Latvia’s Anastasija Kravcenoka and Tina Graudina on point ratio to make the quarterfinals of their first Ellite16 tournament. Switzerland’s Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli topped the pool unbeaten after claiming a 2-1 (16-21, 21-18, 15-12) victory over Kravcenoka and Graudina on Friday, despite the Latvians’ 10 aces in the match.

Brunner and Huberli will open Saturday’s centre court programme with a quarterfinal match against Ittlinger and Schneider at 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT). The game between Barbara and Carol, and Bukovec and Brandie will start at the same time on the second court. At 13:00 (11:00), Borger and Sude will take on Stam and Schoon in front of the centre court crowd, while Alvarez and Moreno go against Cheng and Flint. The semifinals will also take place later on Saturday.