Beach team wins gold at NORCECA tournament

MANZANILLO, Mexico – Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto and Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg won the gold medal Sunday in women’s competition at the fourth stop on the NORCECA beach volleyball circuit.

"It was a huge, exciting win for us,” said Humana-Paredes.  “We played some really strong teams and had a tough pool so getting out of the pool was a feat in itself. I'm really happy with how we're improving and performing. Definitely excited for the rest of the summer.”

The Canadians defeated Allison Daley and Kendra Vanzwieten of the U.S.  21-18, 15-21, 15-13 in the final. Humana-Paredes and Pischke won a silver on the circuit earlier this season.

"Our goal was to win, so it is such a great feeling that we played the way we know we can,” said Pischke.  “Mel and I made it through a very tough pool, the quarters, semis and finals with consistent play. This is so awesome.”

Claudia Séguin of Saint-Pascal Baylon, Ont. and Brandie Wilkerson of Toronto, lost to Humana-Paredes and Taylor in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

On the men’s side, Josh Binstock and Samuel Schachter of Toronto earned the bronze medal defeating Derek Olson and Kevin McColloch of USA1 (21-17, 21-17) in the third place match.

Simon Fecteau-Boutin (Lévis, QC) and James Battiston (Malton, ON) were eliminated in the quarterfinals.