Pavan and Humana-Paredes end more than 2-year beach volleyball tour title drought

Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes got their revenge on Sunday and their first beach volleyball tour victory since the Vienna Major 2019.

The Canadian duo outlasted Bárbara Seixas and Carolina Solberg Salgado in the women’s final, winning 21-19, 20-22, 15-7 at Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Latvia. Their five wins in Jurmala were against a Brazilian opponent.

“They’re a great team and we knew we had to play really, really well to beat them and match them,” Pavan, a native of Kitchener, Ont., said after the game. “We are really proud and excited to be able to win this tournament.”

On June 6, Pavan and Humana-Paredes were swept 21-15, 21-16 in 37 minutes by Bárbara and Carol in the bronze medal match at the Ostrava Beach Open in the Czech Republic.

A month later, 2-0, the Canadians swept the Brazilian tandem in the quarterfinals of the FIVB World Tour in Gstaad, Switzerland, en route to a third-place finish ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, where they placed fifth.

Sunday’s final was the fourth time in six games this week that the Brazilians had gone all three full sets, so perhaps fatigue was a factor, particularly in the deciding set. But twice this season Bárbara and Carol have won gold, in mid-March at the Tlaxcala Challenge in Mexico and three events later in Doha, Qatar.

WATCH l Pavan and Humana-Paredes claim Pro Tour Elite 16 beach volleyball title:

Pavan and Humana-Paredes win Pro Tour Elite 16 beach volleyball title in Jurmala

Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes beat Brazilians Bárbara Seixas and Carol Solberg 2-1 to earn a win at Beach Tour Elite 16 in Jurmala, Latvia.

For Pavan and Humana-Paredes, it was the third time they reached the final in their last five tournaments after silver medals at the AVP Austin Open in Texas in May and last October at the World Tour Finals in Italy.

On May 27, the seventh-seeded Canadians were eliminated in Ostrava after going 1-2 in pool play.

They will attempt to defend their 2019 world title this week in Italy.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes advanced to Sunday’s final after rallying for an 18-21, 21-19, 15-10 semi-final win over Brazil’s Eduarda (Duda) Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos on Saturday. Earlier in the day, Pavan and Humana-Paredes beat Brazil’s Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti 21-17, 21-18 in the quarter-finals.

Lisboa and Ramos beat Americans Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske (21-19, 21-17) in Sunday’s bronze medal match.

Withdrawn late in the final set

In the gold medal contest, Pavan and Humana-Paredes took control early in the third and final set despite some service difficulties.

A Bárbara kill attempt aimed at the net gave the Canadians a 7-4 lead and a serve into the net made it 10-5 for Pavan and Humana-Paredes. Canada pulled away grabbing the next three points, highlighted by an ace from Toronto’s Humana-Paredes, a point from Pavan on a block and a kill from her teammate.

Leading 14-7, the six-foot-five Pavan used his long left hand to send the ball to open some of the sand for the win.

The Canadians had another strong start to the second set, leading 6-3 before Brazil scored after a timeout. The teams traded points for much of the match before Bárbara and Carol looked in control, up 18-15 after Humana-Paredes sent a deep, out of bounds kill attempt.

However, Canada avoided defeat three times as they led 20-17 and tied the set before Brazil scored twice to seal victory.

The poor serve, which plagued Pavan and Humana-Paredes in Saturday’s quarter-final, resurfaced in Sunday’s first set, but Canada managed to limit the damage to build a 7-3, 10 lead. -5.

Brazil closed at 10-9, but the Canadians held the lead until Pavan’s kill attempt hit the net to make it 19-19.

Canada put the game aside with Pavan sending a shot into the sand following an exceptional recovery from Humana-Paredes.

The June 10-19 Global Tournament can be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. starting Friday at 3 a.m. ET.

About Walter J. Leslie

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