The action is heating up at the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships as four Canadian teams advanced today.
Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) defeated Nina Betschart/Tanja Hüberli of Switzerland 2-0 (21-17, 23-21). Canada has won both FIVB World Tour meetings between the two teams, including a 2-0 win at the FIVB Moscow Three Star in June. Yesterday, the Canadian duo ousted Barbara Seixas and Fernanda Alves (who finished 1 and 2 in the 2015 FIVB World Championships with Agatha Bednarczuk and Taiana Lima, respectively), 2-0 (21-16, 21-10).
Pavan and Humana-Paredes, who have not lost a set at the Worlds so far, advance to the quarterfinals and will play Chantal Laboureur/Julia Sude of Germany tomorrow (Aug. 04).
“The big thing is we never really panic and we try to be consistent,” said Pavan. “Even if we do give up points, we’re confident in our team and we trust each other. I think that’s the big thing that helps carry us through when the times get tough. Even this morning we were able to pull out a close one even when we got down because we never stop believing.”
Fellow Canadians Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON) and Brandie Wilkerson (Toronto, ON) defeated Lidiannis Echeverria/Leila Martinez of Cuba 2-1 (21-19, 16-21, 17-15). It was the first FIVB World Tour meeting between the two teams.
They also advance to the quarterfinals and will play Lauren Fendrick/April Ross of the United States. Cuba is eliminated and finishes 9th.
Also today, Ben Saxton (Calgary, AB) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) defeated Esteban Grimalt/Marco Grimalt of Chile 2-0 (23-21, 21-16).
Canada evens the head-to-head at 2-2 in FIVB World Tour meetings between these two teams. The Canadian 2016 Olympians advance to the round of 16 and will play Olympic gold medalists Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt of Brazil.
Barrie, Ontario’s Sam Pedlow and Richmond Hill’s Sam Schachter eliminated 2016 Olympic silver medalists Daniele Lupo/Paolo Nicolai, Italy 2-0 (21-19, 21-19). This Canadians advance to the men’s round of 16 and will play Viacheslav Krasilnikov/Nikita Liamin of Russia. Italy finishes 17th.
“We used a little more variety and played more of our game instead of just trying to go big vs. big and at the end of the game, that’s what worked best for us,” explained Pedlow. “They bounced between (serving) both of us and that’s a testament to both of us siding out well today. It came down to our relationship and I think we were a little stronger mentally at the end of the game. I think when we have fun, we do well and we’re having a whole lot of fun right now.”
Tomorrow the women’s quarterfinals and the men’s round of 16 take place.
All matches are streamed live.
There was a total of seven Canadian teams competing at the Worlds. Those eliminated so far are:
- Julie Gordon/Camille Saxton – 17th
- Taylor Pischke/Jamie Broder – 33rd
- Ryan Vandenburg/AaronNusbaum – 33rd.