Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes win Gstaad Major Title in Switzerland

Sarah Pavan (Wikimedia Commons)

It was an extremely memorable weekend in Canadian women’s beach volleyball history as two Canadian teams reached the podium in Gstaad, Switzerland. Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto, Ontario and Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ontario won the gold medal and Heather Bansley of London, Ontario and Brandie Wilkerson of Toronto, Ontario won bronze. It was the first time ever that two Canadians reached the podium at the same World Beach Volleyball Tour event. The fact that Humana-Paredes and Pavan won their second career major title is also very significant.

Humana-Paredes and Pavan won the Gstaad Major by beating Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur of Germany 21-17, 12-21, 17-15 in the final. Humana-Paredes and Pavan previously won the major in Porec, Croatia in 2017.

In Gstaad, Humana-Paredes won both of their Pool A matches. They beat Laura Caluori and Dunja Gerson of Switzerland 21-14, 21-11 and Kim Behrens and Sandra Ittlinger of Germany 22-20, 21-12. Bansley and Wilkerson also won their two Pool B matches. They defeated Emilie Olimstad and Oda Johanne Ulveseth of Norway 21-10, 21-16 and Tanja Huberli and Nina Betschart of Switzerland 24-26, 27-25, 15-13.

In the round of 16, Humana-Paredes and Pavan beat Nadezda Makroguzova and Svetlana Kholomina of Russia 21-16, 21-17 and Bansley and Wilkerson beat Margareta Kozuch and Karla Borger of Germany 16-21, 23-21, 15-12. In the quarterfinals, Humana-Paredes and Pavan beat April Ross and Alexandra Klineman of the United States 21-15, 21-15 and Bansley and Wilkerson beat Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 21-15, 21-18. In the semifinals, Humana-Paredes and Pavan beat Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos Lisboa of Brazil 14-21, 21-12, 15-13 and Bansley and Wilkerson lost 25-27, 21-14, 18-16 to Sude and Laboureur. In the bronze medal game, Bansley and Wilkerson beat Bednarczuk and Santos Lisboa 21-19, 21-13. The medals for Humana-Paredes and Pavan as well as Bansley and Wilkerson will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.  

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