Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes playing a matchPhoto: FIVB
Photo: FIVB

Beach Volleyball: Canadian women advance to elimination rounds at worlds

Volleyball Canada’s women are off to an impressive start at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, with three of four pairings making it through to the Round of 32.

Leading the pack is dynamic duo Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes who finished pool play with a perfect 3-0 record. The pair have had an extremely successful season so far, claiming silvers at FIVB World Tour 4-star stops in Brazil and Poland, as well as a gold and bronze at the 5-star Major Series events in Croatia and Switzerland. Seeded seventh in the tournament, they will go on to face eighth seeds Barbara Seixas de Freitas and Fernanda Alves of Brazil on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m ET.

Canada’s Camille Saxton plays the ball to Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk Rippel, from left, during the Women’s pool play at the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna, Austria, Sunday, July 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Following them with identical records of two wins and one loss are Julie Gordon and her partner Camille Saxton, as well as Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley. Both pairings finished second within their pools, earning themselves a spot in the elimination rounds. Gordon and Saxton are first up on Wednesday at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET and will take on Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti, who are seeded eight spots ahead of them. Fifteenth seeds Wilkerson and Bansley may be slight favourites when they hit the sand an hour later against 21st-seeded Karla Borger and Margareta Kozuch of Germany.

Left out of the advancing group was Taylor Pischke and Rio Olympian Jamie Broder, who finished with a 1-2 record. They were granted a second chance to advance in a Lucky Losers match against Argentina’s Ana Gallay and Maria Zonta, but fell short, dropping a 2-1 decision. These worlds were the pair’s first time ever playing together after Pischke and her partner Kristina May (formerly Valjas) didn’t have enough entry points to qualify for worlds. However, a Broder-Pischke pairing allowed for another Canadian team to hit the court.

The Canadian men’s teams are still wrapping up the pool play portion of their tournament, with elimination round matchups to be determined on Wednesday.