Elite16 - Montréal, CAN - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

Melissa/Brandie (CAN) vs. Xue/X. Y. Xia (CHN) - Semifinals #6136734

Le canadesi Melissa Humana-Paredes & Brandie Wilkerson, quarta testa di serie, hanno deliziato il pubblico di casa a Montreal con l'oro nell'Elite16, quando il Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour ha visitato nuovamente il Canada. Per Melissa e Brandie si tratta del secondo oro nel Tour come coppia, dopo essere salite sul podio della Jurmala Challenge a giugno, e della terza medaglia complessiva, dopo aver conquistato il bronzo nell'Elite16 di Ostrava, sempre a giugno.

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The silver medals went to American qualifiers Betsi Flint & Julia Scoles, who started the tournament as the sixth seed in the qualification bracket, moved on to take the 14th seed in the main draw line-up and made it all the way to the final. They celebrated their second Beach Pro Tour podium together, after taking another silver at their team’s debut at the Torquay Elite16 in December.

10th-seeded Xue Chen & Xia Xinyi of China picked up the bronze. It was the pair’s second Beach Pro Tour podium, after they snatched the gold upon reuniting for the Itapema Challenge in the spring of 2023.

BPT Elite 16 Montreal - Awarding Ceremony_08

The Montreal Elite16 medallists

A three-set battle unfolded in the women’s final on Sunday with Melissa & Brandie, mastering a victory, cheered on by the fantastic Canadian fans on the stands. In the first set, they broke away with a 4-0 run and never looked back. In the second, however, Scoles & Flint bounced back convincingly to draw level and push the match to a tie-breaker resolution. In the third set, the lead went back and forth until Brandie’s monster block closed the match Canada’s way. The match winner was one of Brandie’s five kill blocks in the game. She also added an ace and 21 successful attacks towards a match-high 27 points, while Melissa produced 17 points, all in offence. Scoles & Flint registered 21 and 19 points, respectively.

“Oh, my gosh, this one will be in my memories forever. This is our first Elite16 gold together as a team, in front of a Canadian crowd with this much energy, this much love... This was the first time my family got to watch me play live, so there were a lot of firsts here; you couldn’t have written it up any better,” said Brandie after the end of the final. “It was a tough win. We had to battle in every single moment and it was beautiful! People are here at the Elite16 for a reason. It’s a gold medal match for a reason. It’s never going to be easy, but we stepped up and we proved ourselves.”

“We are proud of our performance. We played nine matches. Julia is just so resilient. It’s so fun to play next to her,” said USA’s Betsi Flint. “It was a battle all weekend and we are excited to be coming home with a silver medal.”

“I think the take-it-one-at-a-time mentality, knowing the every game could be our last, helped us go out there and have fun, to play the sport that we love and know that it’s a blessing and an opportunity. We had to give it our best. The outcome is the outcome, but we are grateful for how we played and getting the silver,” Julia Scoles added.

L'incontro per il terzo posto ha offerto una battaglia serrata in tre set tra Xue & Xia e le olandesi Katja Stam & Raisa Schoon, testa di serie 12 nel tabellone principale. Le cinesi hanno avuto il controllo del primo set, ma le olandesi hanno lottato per vincere il secondo set, che si è rivelato un'ondata di emozioni, ai tempi supplementari. Gli asiatici sono sopravvissuti a un vantaggio iniziale dell'avversario nel tie-break per riprendere il controllo e chiudere l'incontro a modo loro, 2-1 (21-17, 20-22, 15-12). Xia ha realizzato il massimo dell'incontro con 28 punti, tra cui due ace, superando anche i 27 punti di Stam. Anche Xue ha concluso con oltre 20 punti. Il suo bilancio comprende quattro aces, quattro blocchi di kills e 13 spikes riusciti.

"Abbiamo dato il 100% nelle due partite che abbiamo giocato oggi", ha detto Xue. "Al mattino, abbiamo perso in tre set, ma sapevamo che ci aspettava un'altra battaglia e volevamo davvero salire sul podio. C'era poco tempo tra le partite e abbiamo dimenticato gli errori del mattino e ci siamo concentrate su noi stesse. Abbiamo fatto bene il nostro lavoro e abbiamo vinto".

Xue & Xia played a three-set semifinal as well. Home favourites Melissa & Brandie managed a victory to advance to the gold-medal match. The Canadians overcame Xue’s blocking that produced six points with more efficient offence. Melissa hammered out 22 points in attack and Brandie chipped in another 13, to which she added four aces and two kill blocks for a 19-point tally. Xue finished with 20 points, also including two aces.

In the other semifinal, Scoles & Flint defeated Stam & Schoon in straight sets, , with Scoles leading the way with 24 points. Her match record included three stuffs and two aces. Flint added another 10 points, all in attack, while Stam was the Dutch duo’s leading scorer with 18 points (two aces, on block).