Canadian pair wins bronze at U23 beach volleyball worlds

MYSLOWICE, Poland – Melissa Humana-Paredes of Toronto and Taylor Pischke of Winnipeg repeated as bronze medallists Sunday in women’s competition at the FIVB U23 Beach Volleyball World Championships.

Humana-Paredes and Pischke defeated Taru Lahti and Annina Parkinnen of Finland in the third place match 21-18, 14-21, 15-10 in 49 minutes.  The pair was also third at last year’s U23 worlds.

“It was important we came back and won the bronze”, said Pischke. “Not the colour we wanted, but a medal is a medal and we are happy.”

Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho of Australia, who defeated the Canadians in the semifinal, won the gold medal with a 21-19, 17-21, 15-7 victory over Lara Dykstra and Jace Pardon of the U.S. in the championship match.

“To be honest it was pretty tough to come out and bounce back and play that third place match, because obviously we did not want to be there,’’ said Pischke.  ‘’It was a tough loss against Australia. We had a lot of chances to win that one.” 

Humana-Paredes and Pischke won eight straight matches before their loss to the Australians going 1-0 in qualifying,  4-0 in the round robin and winning their first three playoff round matches.

Sophie Bukovec of Toronto and Tiadora Miric of Thornhill, Ont., were 2-2 in the round robin and advanced to the second round of the playoffs before being eliminated for ninth overall.  Denise Wooding of North Vancouver and Charlotte Sider of Ottawa were ousted in qualifying.

In men’s competition, Greg Simone of London, Ont., and Gabriel Burlacu of Tecumseh, Ont., were 1-4 in the round robin and did not advance.  Dallas Keith of Toronto and Aaron Nusbaum of Aurora, Ont., were defeated in qualifying.

Maciej Kosiak and Maciej Rudol of Poland won the gold medal.