Pavan, Humana-Paredes advance to women's beach volleyball final in Latvia

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Melissa Humana-Paredes, pictured, delivered for Canada with a couple of huge digs against Brazil in the first set of Saturday's semifinal at a Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour stop in Jurmala, Latvia. Humana-Paredes and partner Sarah Pavan prevailed in three sets to clinch a berth in Sunday's 10 a.m. ET final. (Courtesy FIVB Beach Volleyball - image credit)
Melissa Humana-Paredes, pictured, delivered for Canada with a couple of huge digs against Brazil in the first set of Saturday's semifinal at a Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour stop in Jurmala, Latvia. Humana-Paredes and partner Sarah Pavan prevailed in three sets to clinch a berth in Sunday's 10 a.m. ET final. (Courtesy FIVB Beach Volleyball - image credit)

Resilient.

It best describes the play of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes of Canada during their 18-21, 21-19, 15-10 beach volleyball semifinal victory over Brazil's Eduarda (Duda) Lisboa and Ana Patricia Ramos on Saturday in Jurmala, Latvia.

The reigning world champions will take a 4-1 record into Sunday's final at 10 a.m. ET against Bárbara Seixas and Carolina Solberg Salgado of Brazil, who beat Sara Hughes and Kelley Kolinske 21-17, 13-21, 15-8 in the other semifinal.

Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., and Toronto's Humana-Paredes pulled out the second set after Duda and Ana Patricia pulled even at 19-19 and never looked back, taking control early in the final set at the Pro Tour Elite 16 event.

Leading 5-2, thanks to a pair of huge Pavan blocks against Duda, Humana-Paredes extended the lead when her serve grazed the top of the net and fell to the sand on a breezy afternoon.

The Canadians led by as much as five points on four occasions the rest of the way, highlighted by a Humana-Paredes ace and cross-court kill to make it 11-5. They ended the match with a couple of soft tip shots.

With a light rain falling, Brazil called a timeout late in the second set after Humana-Paredes gave Canada an 18-16 advantage but Duda and Ana Patricia grabbed three of the next four points to even matters.

Slow start

After signalling for a timeout, the Canadians scored the next two points to end the match as Humana-Paredes followed a soft tip with a kill deep to the corner of the court.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes looked off their game for much of Saturday's first set with three serves into the net, a couple out of bounds and too often seemed a block or kill short of taking control while their opponents found holes to place the ball.

Trailing 14-8, Canada cut into the deficit on a Humana-Paredes kill and ace while a Pavan block made it a one-point set with Brazil up 15-14, but the Canadians couldn't draw even.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes, who placed fifth at the Olympics last summer in Tokyo, went 2-1 in pool play that concluded with Friday's 21-16, 21-13 win over Brazil's Andressa Ramalho and Vitoria Rodrigues.

The Canadians outmatched their opponent in attack points and blocks by a 9-4 margin, while being evenly matched in service points.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes split Thursday's matches, defeating Brazil's Maria Antonelli and Fernanda Alves in their opener and suffering a 2-0 sweep (21-19, 21-17) at the hands of top-ranked Dutch duo Raisa Schoon and Katja Stam.

Last week, Pavan and Humana-Paredes went 1-2 at an Elite 16 compeition in Ostrava, Czech Republic and didn't advance to the knockout stage.

You can stream Sunday's match on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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