• March 20, 2023

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Canada’s Pavan, Humana-Paredes open Latvia Elite 16 with victory

One week after their early elimination, Canadian beach volleyball duo Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes took a strong first step toward making sure it doesn’t happen again.

The reigning world champions opened the Latvia Elite 16 tournament on Thursday with a 21-18, 21-16 victory over Brazil’s Maria Antonelli and Fernanda Alves, who are only in their third tournament together.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes failed to make the knockout stage at last week’s Elite 16 tournament in Ostrava after finishing group play with one win and two losses.

The Canadians placed fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, but have enjoyed a successful partnership since joining forces after the 2016 Rio Games.

That success was on full display in Latvia, where Pavan, of Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto’s Humana-Paredes outscored their Brazilian opponents in attacks, blocks and serves.

The Canadians returned to the court later Thursday to take on the top-ranked Dutch duo of Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam, who also obtained their opening match.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes were dispatched in straight sets, losing 21-19 and 21-17, in their final match of the day.

The pair resumes competition on Friday, when they take on Brazil’s Andressa Cavalcanti Romalho and Vitoria De Souza Rodrigues at 10 a.m. ET. The FIVB Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Latvia runs through Sunday with the quarter-finals, semifinals and medal matches taking place over the weekend.

Steve Carr

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