Pavan, Humana-Paredes carry momentum into semis at Swiss beach volleyball event

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Canada's Melissa Humana-Paredes, left, and Sarah Pavan, right, defeated Brazil's Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas 25-23, 25-23 in Saturday's semifinal at a World Tour event in Switzerland. They have won eight consecutive sets. (Submitted by Volleyball World - image credit)
Canada's Melissa Humana-Paredes, left, and Sarah Pavan, right, defeated Brazil's Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas 25-23, 25-23 in Saturday's semifinal at a World Tour event in Switzerland. They have won eight consecutive sets. (Submitted by Volleyball World - image credit)

Canada's Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes are one win away from playing for a second beach volleyball World Tour title in four years in Gstaad, Switzerland.

The reigning world champions defeated Carolina Salgado and Barbara Seixas 25-23, 25-23 in Saturday's quarter-finals and will face another Brazilian duo, Agatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda Santos "Duda" Lisboa, on Sunday at 4 a.m. ET in the Swiss Alps.

In July 2018, Pavan and Humana-Paredes beat Germans Julia Sude and Chantal Laboureur to win the Gstaad tournament.

This year, they downed Bednarczuk and Lisboa on March 12 — their first game action in 19 months — on the way to capturing a silver medal at the Katara Beach World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

WATCH | Pavan, Humana-Paredes roll into semis in Switzerland:

The Canadians also finished with silver in April at the first of three tourneys in Cancun, Mexico. In early June, they lost to Anouk Vergé-Dépré and Joana Heidrich of Switzerland in the semifinals of the Ostrava Beach Open in the Czech Republic.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes trailed for much of Saturday's opening set before pulling even 19-19.

The sides exchanged points, with a Pavan tip deep to the corner put Canada up 23-22 and Brazil knotting matters. Humana-Paredes gave the Canadians the lead to stay when she completed a long rally with a well-placed shot, also deep into the corner.

Unbeaten since loss to Spanish qualifiers

Canada took a 5-2 lead in the second set, only to watch Salgado and Seixas battle back and draw even at 6-6 and 10-10. Pavan and Humana-Paredes won the next three points, but the Brazilian tandem was resilient and later made it 20-20.

Humana-Paredes came up big with a couple of kills and strong play at the end to give Canada a 23-22 advantage.

WATCH | Canada's Bansley, Wilkerson ousted in straight sets:

Pavan had a chance to put Canada in control but unleashed a serve into the net. Fortunately, her opponent followed suit and Pavan delivered a kill for the winning point.

Canada opened the Swiss event on Wednesday with a two-set loss to Spanish qualifiers Daniela Alvarez and Angela Lobato. They overcame a 21-13 first-set loss to Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands on Thursday to win 2-1 and haven't lost since over eight sets, improving their record to 4-1.

Pavan and Humana-Paredes will be joined by the Dutch duo in Pool A at the Olympics when play begins July 24 at Shiokaze Park in Tokyo. The Canadians won three meetings over a 35-day stretch but each has lasted three sets.

"It's always really hard against them," Humana-Paredes told Volleyball World of Stam and Schoon recently. "Especially now that everyone is playing at their best and gearing up for the Olympics, every match is really hard."

Vergé-Dépré and Heidrich, along with Germany's Karla Borger and Sude, are the other teams in Pool A.

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