TORONTO, : Beach volleyball has been in the spotlight at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, with Canada now advancing in both the men’s and women’s events.
Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Taylor Pischke (Winnipeg, MB) did not drop a set throughout their preliminary matches, and play next in the quarters on Saturday, July 18 at 8 pm. “We’re going to refine our game a bit for playoffs,” explained Humana-Paredes. “Now every game is going to be hard. I think we’re going to have to keep stepping it up as we have been, and I think we’re ready for that.”
Hometown favourites – Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter of Richmond Hill – also won all three of their preliminary matches to advance to the quarters on Saturday.
“It’s going to get tougher,” said Binstock, a 2012 Beach Volleyball Olympian. “Now there will be a few teams who play on the World Tour so that’s who’s going to be left…. We know the teams and they know us, so it will be a battle for sure.” The men’s beach team’s next match is 3:30 pm, July 18.
The Canadian women’s indoor team had its first match of this Pan Am tournament, against an organized Dominican side – the final was 0-3 (15-25, 13-25, 15-25).
“Dominican played really well, they came out really sharp, and we were not that sharp,” said Canada’s head coach Arnd Ludwig. “Now we need to find the game that we had at Grand Prix last week and bring it to the game against Cuba, with the same energy as today. … Although we didn’t play that well, I think we brought out a lot of energy. The crowd was awesome, they really cheered for us the whole time, so it’s perfect to play at home.”
Canada’s men’s indoor team begins its Pan Am tournament today (July 17) with a Group B prelim match against Mexico. Also today, Brazil faces Colombia; the U.S. takes on Puerto Rico, and Argentina plays Cuba in the final men’s match of the evening at Exhibition Place in Toronto.