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Humana-Paredes and Pavan win most outstanding female team in FIVB Beach Volleyball Awards

December 13, 2019: Beach volleyball duo Melissa Humana-Paredes (Toronto, ON) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, ON) keep piling on the hardware this season, winning the FIVB’s Most Outstanding Female Team for the 2018-19 FIVB World Beach Tour.

The FIVB Beach Volleyball Awards are based on voting from the tour’s players and coaches. On top of winning Most Outstanding Team, the Canadian women have each won individual awards. Humana-Paredes was named the Best Female Setter and Defender, while Pavan was awarded the Best Female Blocker. The awards are still rolling in, but it’s a great start to cap off a stellar season for the women.

“These awards are really special because they’re voted on by our peers and that’s a huge compliment,” said Humana-Paredes. “We never do this for the recognition. I think the accomplishments themselves are recognition enough for us but when you end the year and are respected so well by your peers it’s a really great feeling. It rounds out the season in the best way possible.”

Humana-Paredes and Pavan had an incredible 2019, filled with a gold medal at the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, adding two more gold medals on the World Tour in Edmonton, Alberta and Vienna, Austria. Their efforts this season have them as the top-ranked female team in the world heading into the Olympic year.

While the two women are the ones in the sand and their names are on the awards, Humana-Paredes notes that the awards are not just for them.

“A lot of what we have done is because of our team and we have to attribute a lot to how well our team has functioned and how our coach, sport psych, strength coach, therapist, and everyone on the IST has helped us get here and these awards are just as much theirs as it is ours.”

The team now turns their sights to the upcoming season, where they’ve already punched their ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan. Pavan participated in the Olympics at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, finishing fifth Heather Bansley. This will be the Olympic debut for Humana-Paredes.

Ending the season decorated in peer-voted awards should help the tandem as they look to continue their success. Humana-Paredes explains, “It adds on to this momentum that we’re carrying. It’s really nice validation that what we are doing is working and is recognized.”

These accolades are nothing new for the Canadians. Pavan is now a three-time winner of the Best Blocker award (2015, 2017, and now 2019), and Humana-Paredes has been named the World Tour’s Top Rookie (2014), Most Improved Player (2017), and is now the back-to-back Best Setter (2018 and 2019) on top of her new title as Best Defender (2019).

It’s possible Humana-Paredes and Pavan aren’t done with 2018-19 just yet, as FIVB is still in the process of announcing the award winners for the season.

Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender jskender@volleyball.ca
Mobile: 613-794-7676