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“NORCECA was my first step to play internationally” – Melissa Humana


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, May 22, 2017 – The NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit continues to serve as a launching pad for young players seeking for fame, money and the glamour surrounding the FIVB World Tour.


Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan are the latest example of players graduated from NORCECA who are making news at world level.


Humana-Paredes and Pavan were close to winning the Rio Open before falling to local players Agatha Benarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa in a close battle of 50 minutes won by the Brazilian pair 2-1 (21-14, 13-21, 15-13).


“NORCECA Tour was the first step for me to play international volleyball and it was extremely helpful for me to get the sense of playing outside of Canada and the next step before the FIVB World Tour,” Humana-Paredes commented.


“In NORCECA we had the chance to play in certain conditions and against different style of play, so it was a big help for our growth in order to be ready for the FIVB World Tour,” Humana-Paredes added.


“The development of NORCECA needs to continue, needs to happen so beach volleyball can grow in the countries of Central American and the Caribbean,” she said. “The tour needs to be professional and needs to get more investment.”


On their way to the title match, Humana-Paredes and Pavan posted a two-set morning quarter-final win over Rio 2016 Olympic champions Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany.


Seeded 11th in the “four-star” FIVB World Tour event and playing in only their second international Beach Volleyball tournament together, Humana-Paredes and Pavan scored a 2-0 (21-17, 21-13) win in 33 minutes over the second-seeded Germans to advance to the Rio Open semi-finals where they defeat seventh-seeded Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic 2-0 (21-19, 21-19).


With the win, the Brazilians shared the $20,000 first-place prize while Humana-Paredes and Pavan split $16,000 for their silver medal finish.