Edmonton, Canada, July 19, 2019 - With the second-straight day of cool and wet conditions at Northlands Park for the US$150,000 Edmonton Open, newly-crowned FIVB world champions Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan continue to lead the way as eight women's team advanced to quarterfinals.
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Seeded first in the inaugural Edmonton Open, Humana-Paredes and Pavan posted two wins on Friday to improve their season record to 35-11 by defeating teams from the United States and Japan to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals against 25th-seeded qualifier Monika Brzostek/Aleksandra Gromadowska of Poland
“These last few weeks have been surreal, we really didn’t have a lot of time to process all that happened," said the 25-year old Humana-Paredes. "We’re so happy that we’re here in our home soil sharing the moment with our fans and feeling their love and their appreciation.”
With 17 wins in their last 20 FIVB World Tour matches, Humana-Paredes said “it felt really nice to be playing on center court in front of a nice home crowd. Things were flowing for us and it all went really smooth.”
The 32-year old Pavan added that "it’s amazing to be here and play in front of our fans and our families. It’s always special when they are around. It’s nice to see Canadians cheering for us and these matches here have been very meaningful for us.”
The other quarter-final match in the top-half of the women’s bracket has Japan guaranteed a spot in the semifinals as ninth-seeded Takemi Nishibori/Ayumi Kusano meets compatriots Akiko Hasegawa/Azusa Futami. The all-Japanese winner meets the victors from the Canada vs. Poland match in Saturday afternoon's semifinals.
In the lower-half of the Edmonton Open women's bracket has two American pairs competing as 16th-seeded Kelly Reeves/Kim DiCello meets 11th-seeded Nicole Laird/Becchara Palmer of Australia with 12th-seeded Alexia Richard/Lezana Placette of France challenging Emily Day/Betsi Flint.
The inaugural Edmonton Open concludes Sunday with the medal matches where the winning men's and women's teams will net the $10,000 first-place prizes along with gathering 600 qualifying points for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.