Two of the four Canadian teams in Croatia for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour’s Porec Major have reached at least the semifinals, with one winning silver.
The teams of Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley, Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke were representing Canada on the women’s side while Chaim Schalk and Ben Saxton are competing in the men’s tournament.
Saturday, July 2
In the men’s tournament, Schalk and Saxton qualified for the semifinals of the competition, after a 2-1 (25-23, 21-17) win over Nicholas Lucena and Philip Dalhausser of the United States in the quarterfinals.
The Canadian duo defeated Mexicans Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros 21-19, 21-16 in the second round of the knockouts to earn their quarterfinal berth.
On Sunday, Schalk and Saxton will face the Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst. The 2016 Porec Major men’s final and third place match will also take place on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, Pavan and Bansley finished their successful campaign at Porec Major with a silver medal.
In the gold medal match, the Volleyball Canada pair fell 2-0 (21-19, 21-18) to the German duo of Chantal Laboureaur and Julia Sude.
RELATED: Pavan and Bansley win Porec silver
The Canadian spot in the finals came with a 2-0 victory (21-17, 21-15) over another German duo, Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst in the semifinals of the competition.
Friday, July 1
After the third day of the Porec Major, two Canadian duos remain in competition for medals.
Pavan and Bansley, who captured the silver medal in the 2015 edition, advanced to the semifinals. They advanced after a 2-0 victory (21-11, 21-11) over Liliana Steiner and Elsa McMillan, from Spain, in the second round of the knockouts; and a 2-1 win (21-15, 20-22, 15-12) over the Brazilian duo of Fernanda Alves and Josi Alves in the quarterfinals.
The other two Canada’s women’s teams were defeated in the knockout rounds.
Humana-Paredes and Pischke were taken out by Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti in two close sets 25-23, 21-18 in the first knockout stage.
Broder and Valjas were defetead 21-14, 21-18 by the Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Lili Maestrini in the second round to exit the competition.
In the men’s tournament, Canada’s Schalk and Saxton remained unbeaten. The Canadian duo defeated Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, from Netherlands in three sets (21-23, 21-18, 15-13).
Finishing the pool play at the top of Group F, Schalk and Saxton secured their spot in the knockouts.
Thursday, June 30
In the second day of the competition, the three Canadian women’s teams advanced to the knockout rounds while Schalk and Saxton had a perfect beginning on the men’s side.
The first Schalk and Saxton win came with a 2-0 victory (21-17, 21-19) over Poland’s Michal Bryl and Kacper Kujawiak. In the second match, the Canadians defeated the Italian duo of Matteo and Paolo Ingrosso 26-24, 21-14. On Friday, Schalk and Saxton will face Reinder Nummerdor and Christiaan Varenhorst, from Netherlands.
After the third and final matches of each pool, all three of Canada’s women’s teams secured spots in the next round of the Porec Major.
In Pool A, Broder and Valjas were defeated 2-0 (21-10, 21-18) by Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes, from Brazil, and finished third in their pool, with four points. In the first round of the knockouts, the Canadians defeated Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr 23-21, 21-19.
In Pool D, Bansley and Pavan fell 2-1 (24-22, 19-21, 15-10) to Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth. Even with the lose, Pavan and Bansley finished pool play first in their group and will go directly to the second round of the knockouts.
In Pool B, Humana-Paredes and Pischke beat the host duo of Jurja Vlasic and Dina Becic 2-0 (21-11, 21-11). The Canadian team improved to five points and second place in their group. In the first knockout match, Humana-Paredes and Pischke lost 2-0 (25-23, 21-18) to Riika Lehtonen and Taru Lahti, eliminating them from the competition.
Wednesday, June 29
After winning a silver medal at the 2015 Porec Major, Bansley and Pavan had a strong beginning to the 2016 edition, with two wins on the first day. In Pool D, the Canadian duo defeated Austrians Katharina Schützenhöfer and Lena Plesiutschnig 21-15, 21-10. The second win came with a 2-0 victory (21-10, 2-17) over Riika Lehtonen and Taru Lahti, from Finland.
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In the Pool A, Broder and Valjas were defeated by the German team of Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmier 21-15, 24-22 in the first match of the day. The first win for the Canadian duo came with a 2-1 victory (21-14, 22-24, 15-10) over Croatians Sara Radanovic and Samanta Fabris.
Humana-Paredes and Pischke beat Czech Republic duo of Marketa Slukova and Barbora Hermannova 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 15-11) and fell 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) to Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, from Germany, in the Pool B.