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Monika Paulikiene Aine Raupelyte Lithuania Beach Pro Tour Vienna Elite16-min

Paulikiene and Raupelyte during the Vienna qualifier

Just a few weeks away from making history and becoming the first Lithuanian beach volleyball team to compete at the Olympics in Paris, Monika Paulikiene and Aine Raupelyte earned a spot in the main draw of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Vienna Elite16.

  • Watch the Beach Pro Tour Vienna Elite16 matches live on VBTV

The Lithuanians were the only ones among the three Olympic teams that competed in the women's qualifier in the Austrian capital on Tuesday to progress and will be on the court when the main draw begins, on Wednesday.

Paulikiene, 29, and Raupelyte, 23, recovered from a frustrated attempt to survive the qualifier of the Gstaad Elite16 last week with two victories in Vienna. They downed Germans Sandra Ittlinger and Kim van de Velde 2-1 (21-18, 11-21, 15-11) in their opening match and confirmed their qualification with a sweep (21-17, 21-18) of Ukrainians Valentyna Davidova and Anhelina Khmil.

In the main draw, the two will be part of Pool D, where they will face Austria’s Dorina Klinger/Ronja Klinger, Brazil’s Ágatha Bednarczuk/Rebecca Cavalcanti and Switzerland’s Joana Mäder/Anouk Vergé-Dépré.

Vienna Elite16 – Match Schedule and Results

Germans Laura Ludwig and Louisa Lippmann, who will also compete at the Olympics in a few weeks, had a promising start in the Vienna qualifier, topping Austrians Franziska Friedl and Anja Trailovic in straight sets (21-11, 21-10), but were upset by Americans Kimberly Hildreth and Teegan van Gunst, who won their second-round encounter 2-0 (30-28, 24-22) and advanced.

The third Olympic team entered in the qualifier, Spanish Liliana Fernández and Paula Soria didn’t make it past their first match in Vienna as they were forced to forfeit the duel against Slovakia’s Lubica Siposova/Martina Terenova due to an injury.

The last two spots in the main draw were taken by Ukraine’s Maryna Hladun/Tetiana Lazarenko and Germany’s Margareta Kozuch/Sarah Schneider.

The main draw begins on Wednesday in Vienna, with the 16 teams split into four pools. The pool winners will advance directly to the quarterfinals, while teams ranked second and third will need to play in the Round of 12.

Men get on the court on Wednesday

Wednesday will also mark the start of the men’s tournament of the Vienna Elite16, with the qualifier matches. Five duos that will compete at the Paris 2024 Games will be on the court on the first day of competition.

Australia’s Thomas Hodges/Zachery Schubert will face Austria’s Robin Seidl/Laurenz Leitner in the first round, while their compatriots Mark Nicolaidis and Izac Carracher will meet Czechs Jan Dumek and Tomas Semerad.

Italians Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri will have Australians Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett as their first opponents, Spanish Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira will meet Americans Timothy Brewster and Logan Webber and French Youssef Krou and Arnaud Gauthier-Rat will be faced with Austria’s Tim Berger and Timmo Hammarberg.

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