Volleyball Source
Volleyball Source


WCH: Melissa Humaña-Paredes & Sarah Pavan in World Championship Final

Melissa Humaña-Paredes and Sarah Pavan are going to the Finals of the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. 

They got there by defeating Switzerland’s Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli 2-1 (23-21, 17-21, 19-17) in the semi-finals tonight in Hamburg. They will be the first Canadian volleyball team; indoor or beach, men or women, to bring home a World Championship medal.

It was a tight, tactical match where both teams fought for control. The first set was neck and neck until Melissa made a cross court dig on Nina Betschart and put the ball away to close it out. 

Set two was dominated by the Swiss, who came out firing bullets from the baseline from the get go, acing the Canadians multiple times. Pulling away early, Mel and Sarah made a few attempts to stage a comeback, including a four-point run with the Swiss holding set point, but Betschart & Hüberli managed to pull it out in the end. 

The third started with the Canadians jumping in front early thanks to a Sarah Pavan block, and they kept the lead all the way to Match Point, up 14-10. Usually at this point, victory is imminent - but the Swiss were unwilling to let their fairytale run just yet, fighting off four-straight Match Points to tie it up at 14-14. They even had a Match Point of their own, but it wasn’t to be, as Melissa and Sarah took back the advantage, and on their seventh Match Point, Sarah Pavan finished the match with the block, immediately falling to her knees and even shedding a few tears after pulling through one of the hardest matches of her life. 

The finals will feature a familiar foe - the USA’s April Ross and Alex Klineman. The two teams met earlier in the the season at the Hermosa AVP, as well as the Itapema 4-Star in Brazil - with both contests going 2-1 in favour of the Americans.