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Volleyball Canada – Double podium performance for Canada at the Gstaad Major!

Gstaad, Switzerland, July 15, 2018 – Canadians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan took down the defending champions, Chantel Laboureur and Julia Sude of Germany, in dramatic fashion today to win the US$600,000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Gstaad Major.
The final match came down to the tie-break set, where the Canadians used successful attacks by each player to regain the lead at 16-15 of the third, with Sude being called (which she unsuccessfully challenged) for a net touch for the final point for Canada to secure a 2-1 (21-17, 12-21, 17-15) win in 52 minutes.
“Mel was fearless in the third set,” said Pavan. “She was just going up and swinging hard, and they couldn’t stop her. Being down and fighting back to win seems to be our thing. We’re so happy.”

With their third FIVB gold medal and second Beach Major Series title, top-seeded Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Pavan (Kitchener, ON) shared the $40,000 first-place prize. They were bronze medallists in Gstaad last year.
But the strong Canadian showing didn’t stop there: In the earlier bronze-medal match, where the winning team shared the $20,000 third-place prize, Heather Bansley (Waterdown, ON) and Brandie Wilkerson (Toronto) rallied from a slow start (trailing 1-7 and 4-11 in the first set) to defeat Agatha Bednarczuk/Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa of Brazil 2-0 (21-19, 21-13) in 37 minutes.
Bansley and Wilkerson’s win guaranteed Canada two women’s medals at the same World Tour event for the first-time in the history of the women’s circuit, which started in August 1992 with the Gstaad Major being the 365th tournament.
Agatha and Duda’s Sunday started with a 2-1 (14-21, 21-12, 15-13) semi-final setback to Humana-Paredes and Pavan while Bansley and Wilkerson failed to create and all-Canadian finale by losing 2-1 (25-27, 21-14,18-16) in 64 minutes to Laboureur and Sude. Two weeks ago in Poland, Bansley and Wilkerson defeated Laboureur and Sude for the Warsaw gold medal.
“All of our teams showed incredible Canadian grit!” said Canada’s beach head coach, Steve Anderson. “The results that the teams are getting are even more impressive when you consider that all of our teams changed after the Rio Olympics.”
The Gstaad Major men’s final was Saturday – Anders Mol and Christian Sorum became the first Norwegian team to win a FIVB World Tour gold medal in 20 years by defeating Adrian Gavira and Pablo Herrera of Spain. Canada’s Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow finished ranked 17th in the men’s tournament.
Also this week in beach highlights, Canada’s Nicole and Megan McNamara won gold at the FISU Worlds on Friday, and Canada’s U19 pair of Erika Vermette/Dana Roskic made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championship event in Nanjing, China, falling 2-0 to Russia in that round on Saturday.

Volleyball Canada
Jackie Skender
Director, Communications