Canadian duos eliminated in Gstaad Elite 16 quarter-finals

Canadians Sophie Bukovec and Brandie Wilkerson lost to Australians Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho Del Solar 2-1 (21-17, 21-15, 15-12) in Gstaad, Switzerland, on Saturday, eliminating them from the race for medals at the Swiss stage of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Pro Tour Elite 16.

Natives of Toronto, Ont. entered the tournament ranked 22nd in the world and have had a stellar season since finishing second at the world championships in Rome, Italy, last month. Wilkerson, 29, and Bukovec, 26, only teamed up before this season.

The Canadians traded points with the Australians early in the first set before racing away late in the set to claim a 21-17 win to open the day. However, the Aussies quickly came back strong in the second set, taking an early 14-7 lead and a 21-15 win, forcing a deciding third set.

With a passionate Swiss crowd fully invested in the game as temperatures soared to 27 degrees Celsius, the Ontario-based pair appeared to have bounced back in the final set, trading points at 10-10 before falling to the Australians 15-12 and lose the match.

« I’m so excited, I’ve always dreamed of playing Sunday here at Gsdaat, » Clancy said. « This stadium, the energy here is amazing, and it’s so much fun. »

With the loss, the Canadians will not qualify, while their Australian opponents will advance to the semi-finals.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes fall to world champions Brazil in straight sets

It was not the end Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes were hoping for in Gstaad, as they lost 2-0 (21-11, 21-13) in the quarter-finals, reigning world champions with the Brazilians Duda and Ana Patricia. .

The 2019 world champions, the Canadians, fell in straight sets after the Brazilians took an early and decisive lead in the first set, winning 21-11, giving Pavan and Humana-Paredes few chances to fight back.

Looking to recapture some of their 2019 magic, Pavan, the 25-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., and Humana-Paredes, the 29-year-old from Toronto, battled through close points before losing second set, eliminating themselves from title contention.

It was a disappointing end to the tournament for the duo, ranked 11th in the world, after winning the bronze medal at the Swiss leg in 2021. However, they tied their national teammates by being knocked out in the quarter-finals.

With the Canadian pairs no longer in contention, the Gstaad women’s title will go to Latvia, Australia or Brazil, with a semi-final featuring Latvians Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka against Duda and Ana Patricia, while the other will oppose the Brazilian Carolina Solberg. Salgado and Barbara Seixas de Freitas against Clancey and Del Solar.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball Pro Tour Elite 16 Semi-Finals in Gstaad will highlight Day 5 action on and CBC Gem, starting Sunday at 4 a.m. ET.

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