Co-hosts Slovenia reached the Men's Volleyball World Championship quarter-finals for the first time ©Getty Images

Co-hosts Slovenia and European champions Italy were the first teams to book their place in the quarter-finals of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Men's Volleyball World Championship.

Two rest days followed the conclusion of the group stage on Wednesday (August 31), and the first two round-of-16 ties were held at the Arena Stožice in Ljubljana.

Slovenia stepped in as host of the World Championship alongside Poland after Russia was stripped of hosting rights by the FIVB due to the invasion of Ukraine.

They finished second behind Olympic champions France in Pool D, and overpowered Germany 25-18, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22 to reach the last eight.

Outside hitter Klemen Čebulj led the way with 19 points for Slovenia to help them into the last eight of the World Championship for the first time.

A total of 36 unforced errors put paid to Germany's hopes.

European champions Italy beat Cuba in four sets to reach the quarter-finals ©Getty Images
European champions Italy beat Cuba in four sets to reach the quarter-finals ©Getty Images

Italy won all three matches in Pool E without dropping a set, but faced a sterner test against Cuba, the third-placed side from Pool B.

Opposite hitter Yuri Romanò top scored with 14 points for Italy in their 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 25-18 victory.

Italy are set to face either France or Japan in the quarter-finals, with Slovenia pitted against The Netherlands or Ukraine.

The round-of-16 is set to continue tomorrow in Gliwice, with the United States facing Turkey, and back-to-back defending champions Poland backed by a home crowd against Tunisia.