Canada advances to quarterfinals in Hamburg
August 18, 2023: Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson, both of Toronto, have advanced to the quarterfinals at the Beach Pro Tour Elite16 in Hamburg, Germany. The quarterfinals will be on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EDT, opponent to be decided.
Melissa/Brandie – currently ranked 13th in the world – posted a 2-1 record in the main draw to win Pool B. On Thursday, in their first match of the tournament, they faced off against Agatha/Rebecca of Brazil. The Canadians won the first set handily, but the Brazilians battled back, ultimately taking the match in three sets (21-15, 21-23, 13-15).
In their second match on Thursday, Melissa/Brandie squared off against Xue/X Y. Xia of China. This time around, though, the Canadians took care of business, breezing past their opponents in two sets (21-14, 21-14).
Then, on Friday, Melissa/Brandie did battle with Ludwig/Lippmann of Germany. The Canadians passed that test, too, winning a convincing two-setter (21-16, 21-18), punching their ticket to the quarterfinals. Match stats here.
After a string of top-five finishes on the world circuit, this Canadian team took gold at the Elite16 in Montreal, before finishing second at an AVP event in Atlanta. A win in Germany would be big, both in terms of building confidence and improving their world ranking.
The tournament features the best beach volleyball teams in the world, including top-ranked Duda/Ana Patricia of Brazil on the women’s side. Reigning Olympic gold medallists Mol/Sorum of Norway are the team to beat on the men’s side.
Melissa/Brandie is the only Canadian team competing in the Elite16 in Germany, which runs through the weekend, with the medal round on Sunday. Meanwhile, a bunch of Canadian squads – including Schachter/Dearing and Bansley/Bukovec – are competing in Volleyball Canada’s Beach National Championships in Toronto, playing for a share of the $20,000 purse.
This year, Canada hosts three Beach Pro Tour events – the completed Challenge event in Edmonton (July 20-23) and Elite 16 tournament in Montreal, and a Futures event in Halifax in September.
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Photo: Volleyball World