• March 20, 2023

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Canada’s Pavan, Humana-Paredes win pair to open beach volleyball finals

Canadian duo Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes opened with two consecutive straight-sets triumphs at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals in Sardinia, Italy on Wednesday.

In their first competition since a disappointing Olympics, the fifth-ranked Canadians and reigning world champions seemed intent on proving their quarter-final exit in Tokyo was a fluke.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes capped their day by defeating the top-ranked Brazilian duo of Agatha and Duda, who like the Canadians were upset early in the Olympic tournament.

After breezing to a 21-18 first-set victory, Pavan and Humana-Paredes needed an extra point to cap their second win of the day by taking the second set 22-20.

While the Brazilians were ousted in the Round of 16 in Tokyo, the Canadians fell one round later to Australia’s Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in three sets.

Agatha won the 2015 world championships before taking silver at the 2016 Olympics on home sand before teaming up with Duda.

The Canadians also found their footing early in their first match, taking the first set 21-17 from the Netherlands’ Madelein Meppelink and Sanne Keizer.

After falling behind in the second set, Pavan and Humana-Paredes rallied to close out the match with a 25-23 victory.

After a day off on Thursday, Pavan, of Kitchener, Ont., and Humana-Paredes, of Toronto, will play Switzerland’s Anouk Verge-Depre and Joanna Heidrich on Friday at 6 a.m. ET, followed by a 2 p.m. ET match versus Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil.

The event runs through Sunday, with the quarter-finals, semifinals and medal matches taking place over the weekend.

Steve Carr

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