Canada challenged Brazil in two close matches today, but came up on the wrong side of the tie-break in both the men’s and women’s events at the FIVB Beach Volleyball world championships.
Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil defeated Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) 2-1 (21-12, 16-21, 18-16) in the bronze medal match today in a thrilling display in Vienna.
“It’s very disappointing, there is no absolutely excuse. We led 5-0 in the third and lost, we just didn’t take care of it,” said Pavan. “I don’t know if we relaxed and thought ‘oh, we got this.’ I don’t know if we took a breath for a second, but we needed to keep the pressure on. We let them off the hook. Our serve receive got a little messy. … We’ve only played seven tournaments together, and we’ve had a really good season overall. Our future together is very bright and it’s exciting because I know we can get a lot better. Melissa is a great player and this is her first season playing on the left side. It was a really good experience overall; it was a great event. We played well, unfortunately we didn’t at the very end. It was a great atmosphere on centre court and hopefully we’ll get to experience it again.”
This Canadian team has reached the podium four times on the 2017 FIVB World Tour.
Said Humana-Paredes “I am really disappointed that we couldn’t close that out but I think we showed really great resilience in that game to come back from such a bad first set. I’m really proud of our fight. …. We’ve learned so much from this. It’s been an amazing time to be here in Vienna, it’s been an incredible tournament. Even though we finished just off the podium, we won’t forget it.”
Germany’s unstoppable Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst won gold over the United States, which adds to their Olympic and World Tour finals wins.
In the men’s quarterfinals, Evandro Goncalves/Andre Loyola of Brazil defeated Ben Saxton (Calgary, AB) and Chaim Schalk (Red Deer, AB) 2-1 (17-21, 22-20, 15-10). Canada finishes fifth. This is the best showing for this Canadian team this season.
“They played really well. Both teams were siding out very well, and in the third they managed to put a lot more service pressure and that put us just enough behind that we couldn’t come back. They served really hard and I struggled passing a bit, that turned the match,” said Saxton. “It was a good experience overall, we played some really good matches. Obviously yesterday’s match is the highlight (beating Alison/Bruno – reigning World Champions and 2016 gold medalists). We would have liked to have gone a little further, it’s always tough because you end on a loss most of the time, but we’re happy overall with how we played.”
The men’s medal matches take place on Sunday, Aug. 06.
Overall, Canada finishes with a very solid total of four top-ten results.
There were seven Canadian teams competing at the 2017 Worlds. Those previously eliminated are:
- Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson – 5th
- Sam Pedlow/Sam Schachter – 9th
- Julie Gordon/Camille Saxton – 17th
- Taylor Pischke/Jamie Broder – 33rd
- Ryan Vandenburg/Aaron Nusbaum – 33rd.