BPT Elite 16 Torquay Men -  AUSvsFRA 1-12

21-year-old Calvin Aye in defence

Calvin and Quincy Aye were the only team seeded outside the top eight of the men’s main draw to advance to Friday’s Elite16 quarterfinals in Australia. The 10th-seeded Frenchmen pushed past second-seeded Marco Krattiger and Florian Breer as the pool stage of the Beach Pro Tour event was completed on Thursday. It is the first time the Ayes are competing in an Elite16 main draw, after failing to qualify in Paris.

· Watch the matches at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite16 event in Torquay live on Volleyball TV.

In the morning, Switzerland’s Krattiger and Breer conceded their second tie-breaker loss in Pool B, as seventh-seeded Australians Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert turned the course of their match to a 2-1 (19-21, 21-18, 15-13) win. Hodges was the best scorer of the game with 29 points, including six blocks and an ace. At the same time, Israeli qualifiers Netanel Ohana and Eylon Elazar managed a hard-fought 2-0 (24-22, 21-16) upset of the Aye brothers to leave the pool wide open ahead of the last matches.

In the evening, Krattiger and Breer achieved their first win of the tournament, 2-0 (21-17, 21-11) over the Israelis, but it soon counted for nothing. Aye and Aye’s 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) victory over Hodges and Schubert meant both the Frenchmen and the Australians grabbed the quarterfinal tickets on 2-1 win-loss records. Quincy Aye was on fire at the net, stringing up 17 successful spikes, seven kill blocks and two aces towards the precious win, which propelled his team to the top of the table with a better point ratio than the host country pair.

Quincy Aye’s top points against Hodges & Schubert

Meanwhile, a three-way tie for second place shaped up after the results of the third matches in Pool A. Top-seeded Aussies Christopher McHugh and Paul Burnett pocketed their third win in the pool, 2-0 (21-15, 22-20) over Austria’s Mathias Seiser and Moritz Kindl, to secure the first place in the final standings. After a 2-0 (21-16, 21-19) victory over USA’s Paul Lotman and Miles Evans, however, Switzerland’s Quentin Metral and Yves Haussener caught up with both the Americans and the Austrians on a 1-2 win-loss record each, so it was the best point ratio in the matches between the three tied teams that placed eighth-seeded Lotman and Evans in second place and into the quarterfinals.

BPT Elite 16 Torquay Men -  AUSvsAUT-25

Paul Burnett hammers the ball

Another French pair excelled in Pool C. On Thursday morning, sixth-seeded Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat claimed a tight 2-1 (21-17, 18-21, 15-13) victory over third-seeded Mathias Berntsen and Hendrik Mol of Norway. Each of the four players in that game scored 20+ points, with Krou leading the way with 26, including seven stuffs. In the evening, the Frenchmen delivered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) sweep of Australians Izac Carracher and Mark Nicolaidis to finish the pool with a perfect record of three wins in three matches.

Earlier in the day, the Aussies also suffered a 2-1 (18-21, 22-20, 15-10) defeat at the hands of England’s Joaquin Bello and Javier Bello. The Englishmen were then shut out by the Norwegians, 2-0 (21-17, 21-17). So again it came down to the point ratios in the matches between three tied teams, with Berntsen and Mol finsihing as runners-up.

BPT Elite 16 Torquay Men - NORIvsFRA-8

Youssef Krou blocks a shot by Mathias Berntsen

Two Italian teams, last week’s finalists at the Challenge tournament in Torquay, snatched the top two places and the tickets to the next round in Pool D, after claiming straight-set victories on Thursday. Fifth-seeded Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri produced a 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) shutout of Spain’s Javier Huerta and Alejandro Huerta to finish top of the pool unbeaten, while fourth-seeded Daniele Lupo and Enrico Rossi mastered a 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) sweep of France’s Julien Lyneel and Remi Bassereau to finish runners-up with two wins. Rossi completely owned the net, delivering nine kill blocks towards a match high of 21 points.

An all-Australian clash will highlight the men’s quarterfinals on Friday and secure a semifinal spot for the host country in the evening. McHugh and Burnett will take on Hodges and Schubert on centre court at 13:00 local time (02:00 UTC), while Berntsen and Mol meet Carambula and Ranghieri on court 2. The two other quarterfinals will begin an hour earlier, with Krou and Gauthier-Rat facing Lupo and Rossi on centre court and Lotman and Evans locking horns with the Aye brothers on court 2 at 12:00.