May 12, 2014 (ISN) – This weekend two Canadian women’s teams cracked the top ten at the Puerto Vallarta Open in Mexico, and a Canadian men’s team reached the podium at a NORCECA event in Antigua, Guatemala.

Ranked ninth in the main draw, the teams of Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto, Ont. and Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg, Man., and Kacie MacTavish and Caleigh Whitaker, of Sharon, Ont., both had a good showing at the Puerto Vallarta Open, part of the FIVB beach volleyball World Tour.

“Kacie and I are pleased with our result finishing in the top 10 as it is our best result thus far,” said Whitaker.  The pair lost their Round 2 match to Hughes and Engle of the U.S. 1-2 (21-17, 16-21, 7-15). “It was great to see so many Canadian teams competing well in the main draw. We want to give a huge thanks to the event organizers, our support staff and awesome fans in PV as they put on a great event.”

It was also a best-ever FIVB finish for Humana-Paredes and Pischke. “It’s bittersweet because we know we could have gone further (they lost their final match 22-24, 17-21 to Mexico), but we still had a great showing and I am happy with the result. We played strong, talented teams so a lot to learn from and to implement into our training,” said Humana-Paredes.

Claudia Séguin of Saint-Pascal-Baylon, Ont. and Brandie Wilkerson of Toronto, Ont. ended up in 25th spot in the main draw in their FIVB debut. The Canadian men’s team in the main draw, Sam Pedlow (Barrie, ON.), and Grant O’Gorman (Scarborough, ON), ended up ranked 17th in PV. The full results, rankings and photos can be found at www.fivb.org.

At the first Gatorade Antigua Guatemala BVB, the third stage of the NORCECA Tour, Michael Plantinga of Langley, BC, and Cam Wheelan of Barrie, ON, finished third overall.

“We are happy to get on the podium early this season,” said Wheelan. “This event will be a building block for the rest of the year keeping our game at a high level, making us a constant medal team on the NORCECA Tour and evolving our game for the FIVB tour later in the year.”

In the battle for the bronze medal  Wheelan and Plantinga of CAN-B beat fellow Canadians Simon Fecteau-Boutin (Lévis, QC) James Battiston (Malton, ON) of CAN-A  2-0 (21-17, 21-14) on Sunday. Cubans Sergio Gonzalez and Nivaldo Diaz beat Roberto Rodriguez/Eric Haddock of Puerto Rico 2-0 (21-15, 21-13) to win their second consecutive NORCECA gold of the season.

The top Canadian women’s team was fifth (Victoria Altomare/Julie Gordon). More at NORCECA.net