Rosarito, Mexico - Elite 16 - Beach Pro Tour 2022 - News

05_BPT Rosarito - Women Main Draw CANvsAUS

An excited Pavan celebrates a remarkable day for the Canadians in Rosarito

Reigning world champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada made it to the quarterfinals in their first international tournament of 2022, the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Rosarito, Mexico, in impeccable form.

“I'm glad we're winning,” an excited Humana-Paredes reacted. “We didn't really know what to expect coming into here and playing in our first tournament together this year. There are some really great things happening. This tournament is no joke. Every team is so difficult to play and you need to have your A-Game at all times. It really pushes you and tests you. I'm really happy and proud of the team for pushing and grinding, but I think there's still another level we can reach.”

The Olympians, who had debuted in the tournament with a win on Thursday, got revenge from Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho, who eliminated them from the Tokyo Games last year, sending the Australians home with a hard-fought, three-set (21-19, 20-22, 15-12) victory in their second match on Pool D.

The result guaranteed the Canadians in the elimination round but they didn’t slow down in the final pool match and topped Dutch Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam, another team they played against in Tokyo, in two sets (21-18, 22-20) to finish first with their undefeated campaign of three victories. They will play American Kelly Claes and Betsi Flint in the quarterfinals.

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“Every single match feels like the semifinals in this tournament”, Pavan added. “Any of these teams could be in the semifinals and that's why these Elite 16 tournaments are so cool. In order to win, you really need to make sure you're playing very well. We never know what's going to happen at the beginning of the season, so the things we're focusing on are the ones we practised in the preseason. It's been working so far, so we're going to try to stay on course and try to be as good as we can every match.”

Clancy and Artacho rebounded from their loss to the Canadians and ended their participation in the tournament with an emphatic straight-set (21-12, 21-5) victory against Mexicans Atenas Gutierrez and Maria Quintero.

April Ross, a Tokyo Olympic champion, and Emily Day topped Pool B with three positive results. The Americans had two familiar opponents on Friday, defeating two teams from their own country to take the top spot. They downed Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske 2-0 (21-15, 21-12) in the morning and returned to the court some hours later to oust Terese Cannon and Sarah Sponcil also in two sets (21-13, 21-19). Their quarterfinal opponents will be Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka.

06_BPT Rosarito - Women Main Draw USAvsUSA

Olympic champion April Ross if off to a great start of partnership with Emily Day

Hughes and Kolinske entered their last pool match depending only on themselves to move forward and responded well, defeating the reigning European champions Nina Brunner and Tanja Huberli of Switzerland 21-19, 21-17 to finish second and advance to the quarterfinals.

Pools A and C were won by Brazilian teams. Top-seeded Eduarda ‘Duda’ Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos kept their perfect record on Pool A by claiming their third victory in the tournament, a straight-set (21-11, 21-18) win against Germans Cinja Tillmann and Svenja Muller. They finished at the top of the pool with six points and will clash with Schoon and Stam in the quartefinals.

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Latvian Olympians Graudina and Kravcenoka were on the right end of a three-way tie for the pool’s second place after they downed Brazilians Barbara Seixas and Carol Salgado 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) to win their first match in Rosarito and also made it to the elimination round.

Coming from the qualifier, Talita Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti won their fifth-straight match in Rosarito on Friday. The Brazilians topped Americans Kelly Claes and Betsi Flint in two sets (21-16, 21-18) and took first place in the pool. Their next opponents will be Hughes and Kolinske.

01_BPT Rosarito - Women Main draw USAvsBRA

Claes and Talita in a joust during the match

The third place in the pool went to Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists Joana Heidrich and Anouk Verge-Depre of Switzerland, who ended their participation in the tournament with a straight-set (21-11, 21-11) victory over Brazilian veterans Maria Elisa Antonelli and Fernanda Berti.

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Saturday’s schedule will start with the quarterfinals and be concluded with the semifinals. The medal matches in Rosarito are set to happen on Sunday.