Canada’s Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes survived a scare to advance at the beach volleyball worlds on Wednesday in Rome.
The reigning champions used three sets to beat Brazil’s Taiana Lima and Hegeile Almeida Dos Santos in the Round of 32 and avoid elimination.
After dropping the first set of the match — and their first of the entire tournament — 21-18, the Canadians rebounded to win the second set by the same score before finishing off the 10th-ranked Brazilians with a decisive 15-10 final set.
While Lima and Dos Santos scored more points on the attack, the 15th-ranked Pavan and Humana-Paredes took the edge in points off blocks and serves, as well as opponent errors.
WATCH | Pavan, Humana-Paredes win 4th straight at worlds:
Among the favorites entering the Tokyo Olympics, Pavan and Humana-Paredes were upset in the knockout round and wound up placing fifth. But the duo has come back strong this season, including its first victory since 2019 at the Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Latvia earlier this month.
Fellow Canadians Brandie Wilkerson and Sophie Bukovec also won a three-set decision to advance to the Round of 16.
The newly minted partners eliminated Thailand’s Taravadee Naraphornrapat and Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee 21-16, 19-21,15-12.
Like Pavan and Humana-Paredes, Wilkerson and Bukovec won their pool with a perfect 3-0 record. While they were even with their Thai opponents in attack points, the Canadians came out ahead in blocks and serves.
WATCH | Wilkerson, Bukovec advance in Rome:
Unlike their compatriots, the final Canadian team in the women’s tournament, twins Megan and Nicole McNamara, were ousted in the Round of 32 despite also winning their pool.
The McNamaras fell 12-21, 21-18, 12-15 to Italy’s Claudia Scampoli and Margherita Bianchin.
Daniel Dearing and Sam Schachter, the lone Canadians in the men’s bracket, also saw their tournament come to an end with a straight-sets loss at the hands of Estonians Kusti Nolvak and Mart Tiisaar.
Dearing and Schachter only reached the knockout rounds after winner their do-or-die lucky loser match on Tuesday.
WATCH | Dearing, Schachter eliminated by Estonia:
The Round of 16 goes on Thursday, when Wilkerson and Bukovec face Germany’s Karla Borger and Julia Sude (5 am ET) before Pavan and Humana-Paredes meet another Brazilian duo in Talita Da Rocha Antunes and Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva (9 am ET).
Matches can be streamed live on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem. The bronze and gold medal finals are scheduled for Sunday.