Canadian world beach volleyball champions Pavan, Humana-Paredes ending partnership

Canada's Melissa Humana-Paredes, left and Sarah Pavan's kiss the trophy after their victory on the Center Court, during the Beach Volleyball World Championship final match against April Ross and Alexandra Klineman of the US, in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 6, 2019. (Christian Charisius/dpa via AP)

Canada’s most decorated women’s beach volleyball team is splitting up.

Saying it’s common in their sport to part ways after a few years, world beach volleyball champions Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes are ending their partnership after five years together.

“We have a lot of respect for each other and are very proud of what we have accomplished as a team over the last five years,” the two said in a mutual statement on Tuesday. “As with many long-term beach volleyball partnerships, we have both decided it is time to explore new options in our athletic careers separately.”

Pavan, from Kitchener, Ont., and Humana-Paredes, from Toronto, won the world title in 2019. They captured their second Commonwealth Games gold medal last month in Birmingham, England.

They’ve also climbed the Beach Volleyball World Tour podium numerous times, including winning gold this year at the Jurmala Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 tournament.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the two went undefeated in pool play, winning every set. They were eventually eliminated in the quarterfinals with a 2-1 loss to Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy. 

“We have watched Sarah and Melissa with great pride and thank them both for representing the sport and our country so successfully on the world stage,” Volleyball Canada CEO and president Mark Eckert said in a statement. “Volleyball Canada wishes them both continued success moving forward.”

The 36-year-old Pavan was one of Canada’s top indoor volleyball players before she switched to beach in 2014 in hopes of making the Olympics. 

Indoors, Pavan led the University of Nebraska to the NCAA title, earning the tournament’s most outstanding player honours. She was named the NCAA’s top volleyball player award in 2007. 

The duo said they have nothing to announce on potential new partnerships at this time. 

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