2017-08-03 12:59:00 CET
Two teams take victories just moments apart in Vienna
Canadian victories came like London buses as two teams ensured their FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 campaigns continued by securing victories within seconds of each other.
First, Poreč Major champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes booked their place in the last eight, and their cheers had yet to subside when Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk won on the adjacent court.
Both prevailed in two sets but neither pair had it easy, particularly Pavan/Humana-Paredes – forced to battle past a rampant Swiss fightback from Nina Betschart and Tanja Hüberli.
A 21-17 23-21 scoreline failed to give justice to a match in which the Canadians were given a run for their money for the first time in Vienna, with a puff of the cheeks come the final point demonstrating relief getting over the line.
“There was a lot of frustration for me in that match,” admitted Humana-Paredes, into the quarterfinals for the first time. “They were on me from the very beginning and played phenomenally.
“I’m glad I was able to pick it up towards the end of the game, but you feel a little bit on your own, particularly when the crowd is supporting them, but thankfully that’s why you have a teammate to help you out of tough times.
“It can feel very defeating, especially when things aren’t going your way, but we took things back to basics and focused on every point in isolation.
“We don’t do a ton of talking in the heat but we don’t need it, we understand each other very well. We’ve had some tough games and we’ve potentially got two to come on Friday as well.”
Meanwhile Saxton/Schalk made it to the round of 16 for the second time in their careers after getting past Chilean cousins Esteban and Marco Grimalt 23-21, 21-16.
Once again, the soaring Viennese temperatures made life difficult, as both teams found their fluent best hard to come by.
But when it comes to the knockout stages, it’s results first, performances second for the Canadians, who now play reigning champions Alison/Bruno for a place in the last eight.
Saxton said: “It’s so hot, we had to make sure to finish that in two because the advantage would be with them.
“We still struggled in that one but the heat will do that to everyone, but we have to try and stay consistent on our side of the net.
“Having a good performance is nice but you just have to try and make as few errors as possible, you just have to stay alive, not fall down and get back up.”
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