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Pavan, McBain qualify with two other Canadian teams for beach volleyball playoffs

Sarah Pavan Sarah Pavan - The Canadian Press

TLAXCALA CITY, Mexico — Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain have punched their playoff-round tickets at the Beach Volleyball World Championships in Mexico.

The Canadian duo defeated Ariana Becerra and Karelys Ortiz of Ecuador 21-13, 21-10 in a "lucky loser" match on Tuesday, to join Casnadians Sam Schachter and Dan Dearing, and Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson in the round of 32 that starts Wednesday.

The Canadians led in attacks (27-18) in the match and scored seven points of opponent errors.

In Pool H, Pavan/McBain posted a 1-2 record. The Canadians dropped matches against 21st-ranked Esmee Bobner and Zoe Verge-Depre of Switzerland and seventh-ranked Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands. But in their third and final contest of the main draw, fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive, Pavan and McBain dispatched Allanis Navas and Maria Gonzalez of Puerto Rico 2-0.

Schachter and Dearing went 2-1 in Pool L. The Canadians dropped a tight three-setter to 14th-ranked Renato de Carvalho and Vitor Felipe of Brazil, before rebounding with convincing two-set wins over Miguel Sarabia and Juan Virgen of Mexico and Mohamed Abicha and Oussama El Azhari of Morocco. With that, they qualified for a spot in the round of 32.

On Wednesday Schachter and Dearing will be looking for an upset against 10th-ranked Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert of Australia. The Canadians (ranked 33rd in the world) are coming off a hot summer, with wins at the Volleyball Canada National Championships and the Futures event in Halifax.

In Pool D, Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson breezed through with a perfect 3-0 record, posting two set victories over Imane Yakki and Mahassine Siad of Morocco, Erika Bobadilla and Michelle Amarilla of Paraguay and Barbora Hermannova and Marie-Sara Stochlova of Czechia. Now the Canadians are headed to the round of 32. On Wednesday, the Canucks will square off against a yet-to-be-determined winner from the “lucky loser” round. Expectations are high for the Toronto duo, who recently jumped to fourth in the world rankings and look to be Canada’s best shot at the podium.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2023.