BPT Challenge Torquay Women - USAvsSOL-1

Emily Stockman in action

In the only three-setter in the round of 16 on Friday, the United States’ Emily Stockman and Megan Kraft recovered from a set down to book their spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge event in Torquay. All four Chinese teams also advanced to the last eight of the tournament.

· Watch all matches at the Beach Pro Tour Torquay Challenge event live on Volleyball TV.

Second-seeded Stockman and Kraft, who had lost the winners match in their pool on Thursday, also lost the first set of their round of 16 encounter with Slovenia’s Tjasa Kotnik and Tajda Lovsin on Friday. However, with Stockman improving her spiking performance, the Americans controlled the second set to push the match to a third-set decider. Then, recovering from an early two-point breakaway for the fourth-seeded Slovenians, they sprinted towards a victory in the money time with four points in a row towards a 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-10) win. Stockman and Kraft tallied 21 points each, while Lovsin delivered the match high of 25 points, all in attack.

Stockman & Kraft vs Kotnik & Lovsin: match highlights

Stockman and Kraft will meet Zeng Jinjin and Wang Xinxin for a spot in the semifinals. The seventh-seeded Chinese pair qualified for the quarterfinals after a 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) win over Australia’s Brittany Kendall and Caitlin Bettenay, with a 20-point match high from Wang, including five kill blocks and two aces.

China will definitely have at least one duo among the semifinalists, as two of their teams are set to lock horns in one of the quarterfinals. Ninth-seeded Zhu Lingdi and Wang Fan progressed to that match after a hard-fought 2-0 (21-18, 23-21) win over eighth-seeded Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley of New Zealand. In the first set, Zhu and Wang recovered from a three-point deficit, and in the second, they wasted a four-point lead to allow the set into overtime before taking the victory, despite Zeimann’s 24-point tally.

Zhu and Wang will now have to face their third-seeded compatriots Xia Xinyi and Lin MeiMei, who delivered a 2-0 (21-15, 21-16) shutout of fifth-seeded Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi of Japan, with Lin contributing 22 points, including two blocks and two aces.

BPT Challenge Torquay Women - NZLvs CHN-20

Wang Fan handles the ball

China’s Yuan Lvwen and Dong Jie, seeded 10th in the main draw bracket, managed a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) upset of sixth-seeded Australians Alisha Stevens and Nicole Laird, storming to the victory with five points in a row at the end of the second set. Yuan’s seven kill blocks proved key to success, while Laird made three towards a 26-point match high.

Helena Havelkova and Marketa Slukova are the next obstacle on Yuan and Dong’s road to the semis. The 14th-seeded Czechs, who started their Torquay campaign in the qualifiers, cruised to an emphatic 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) victory over another team from the qualifiers, Japan’s Kana Motomura and Harumi Sakai. Earlier on Friday, the Japanese duo came back from a set down to claim a 2-1 (16-21, 22-20, 15-8) win over Canada’s Darby Dunn and Olivia Grace Furlan in the round of 18.

Yuan Lvwen’s successful blocks against Stevens & Laird

Georgia Johnson and Jasmine Fleming were the last women’s team to defend the honour of the host country. The 16th-seeded Aussies mastered a 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) sweep of Japan’s Ren Matsumoto and Non Matsumoto, with a 21-point match high from Fleming. They will have a tough challenge in the quarterfinals when they take on top-seeded Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng. The Americans produced a 2-0 (21-12, 21-12) blowout of Poland’s Jagoda Gruszczynska and Aleksandra Wachowicz. It was the Poles’ second match of the day, after their 2-0 (21-11, 21-19) win over Thailand’s Varapatsorn Radarong and Charanrutwadee Patcharamainaruebhorn in the round of 18.

BPT Challenge Torquay Women - USAvsPOL-12

Spectacular save by Sara Hughes

Saturday’s schedule includes both the quarterfinals and the finals of the tournament.