Humana-Paredes aiming for memorable Fort Lauderdale debut
Humana-Paredes (left) and Pavan had plenty to smile about in 2017
Lausanne, Switzerland, February 22, 2018 – Melissa Humana-Paredes will continue to tick off staging posts in her career as the 2018 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues at the Fort Lauderdale Major Series tournament next week.
The tournament runs from February 26 to March 4 at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park and it will be the first time that the 25-year-old Humana Paredes has appeared at the tournament in Florida.
“I’m so excited – I’ve never been to Fort Lauderdale before so it will be my first time,” Humana-Paredes said in an interview with www.beachmajorseries.com.
“Last year I remember missing out on all the fun and taking a photo of myself watching on the Beach Major Series BeachStream in class. I’ve only heard good things about the place and I know it being a Major Series event that it’s going to be showcased in the best way.”
Last year Humana-Paredes was unable to attend as she was continuing her studies at York University, but once she got going on the 2017 season it quickly became one to remember.
The Canadian began a new partnership with Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympian Sarah Pavan, and they quickly showed their potential by finishing fourth at the Rio 4-Star tournament in May. Two more tournaments followed and then in July they triumphed at the Porec Major 5-Star event.
It was the first time both players had topped a World Tour podium, and two more medals followed with bronze at the Gstaad Major 5-Star and silver at the Olsztyn 4-Star.
They finished fourth at the Austria 2017, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, and the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, but their second place finish in the World Rankings showed the pair has potential for the coming season.
“That’s been the exciting part – having a pre-season together,” Melissa said. “It’s nice to have the time to prepare. We’ll have five weeks leading up to Fort Lauderdale – I wouldn’t say we’re ready right at this minute, we’re not quite where we were at the end of last season – but our preparation for the long season will be much improved compared to last year.
“But training’s been good – it’s always a challenge to come back after some time off after the season. It takes a couple of weeks to get the legs and lungs back. At the end of January, I definitely was dying! It’s like riding a bike, though, once you get back into things.”
Humana-Paredes was voted 2017’s FIVB Most Improved Player. It is a reflection of the potential she has shown from a young age.
In 2011 she and Victoria Altomare won FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships silver in front of their home fans in Halifax. Back to back U23 World Championships bronze medals followed with Taylor Pischke, and then they went full time on the World and NORCECA Tours until their split at the end of the 2016 season.
She teamed up with former Canada volleyball international Pavan, who had reached the Rio 2016 quarterfinals with Heather Bansley.
“I knew going into the partnership that this was the deal and that Sarah had her indoor career – I understood that,” Humana Paredes said. “I accepted it and I think it worked well for us both, especially last year when I was still in school. I never once saw Sarah’s indoor career as a negative but knowing she quit for us – the team – is really humbling.
“I know volleyball was a big part of her life and career and giving something up she enjoys and make a commitment to this team and beach volleyball is very touching. It means a lot.”