(ISN) – Canadian beach volleyball athlete Melissa Humana-Paredes has been named top female rookie by the FIVB for her debut season on the international circuit.
“I’m incredibly humbled to have been nominated, let alone selected Top FIVB Rookie,” said Human-Paredes, who is from Toronto. “Last summer was amazing on so many levels and this is a great recognition. To be acknowledged by other athletes, coaches, referees and officials is truly an honour.”
She continues: “Beach volleyball is very much a team sport and I could not have done anything without my partner, Taylor (Pischke). She has helped me grow as an athlete and has always been supportive and committed to me and the team.”
The team’s top FIVB result was fifth at the Sao Paulo Grand Slam; and together they also picked up a World U23 bronze medal and won the NORCECA championships last November.
“This is a great honour for Melissa and a reflection of the hard work and great results that she and all of the Canadian athletes have achieved this year,” said Steve Anderson, Volleyball Canada’s beach program head coach.
Also recognized were Canada’s Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter, both of Richmond Hill, Ont. who were second to the U.S. with a 24-9 (72.7%) winning percentage. And Toronto’s Sophie Bukovec and Tia Miric were mentioned for their U21 World Championship gold medal.
“I think it’s really cool that Canada is being recognized at this level,” said Humana-Paredes. “Our coaching staff has done a tremendous job at helping us reach the highest level of beach volleyball – we still have so much to learn and we are lucky enough to have extremely talented coaches. I’m excited to see where it leads.”
Anderson continued: “Canada’s female and male beach athletes are united by one mission and one dream. Every national team member has worked hard to raise the standards of the program and Canada’s global reputation for excellence.”