Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, On) and Heather Bansley (Waterdown, On) have won their second silver medal of the year after losing a heartbreaker to Larissa/Talita of Brazil 16-21, 27-25, 15-7 in the Porec Major Series final in Croatia.
The pair from Ontario defeated Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy of Australia 21-13, 15-21, 15-13 in the semis to advance to finals of the first Major Series final in FIVB history.
Porec was an absolute marathon for Pavan/Bansley who had to win their final match of pool play to move on, then went the distance in each and every match in the playoffs. The pair won four consecutive third sets before succumbing to the Brazilians in the finals.
They weren't the only team Canadian team in the final four, as Jamie Broder (Victoria, BC) and Kristina Valjas (Toronto, On) fell to Bawden/Clancy 21-15, 21-17 in the bronze medal match, narrowly missing out on their third medal of the season.
They also just missed out completing the Brazilian sweep in the semis, losing to Larissa/Talita 21-19, 21-19. They took down Juliana/Antonelli in the Round 1 and came out on top against Agatha/Seixas in the quarters.
With this marking the fourth Canadian medal on the FIVB Tour this season, fans could not have dreamed for a better start to Olympic qualifying. Broder/Valjas have now taken over top spot in the World Tour standings while Pavan/Bansley jump all the way up to third.
The next question is: with the race being so tight, which one of these teams will represent Canada at the Pan Am Games in Toronto this summer? With only one spot per gender and only a few points until the deadline, they'll been gunning to represent Canada in July.