York University Lions women’s volleyball player Melissa Humana-Paredes and her partner, Taylor Pischke, cracked the Top 10 of an International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB) tournament for the first time this past weekend at the Puerto Vallarta Open in Mexico.
The Canadian duo went 1-2 in Pool B competition, with a 2-0 victory over the Mexican pairing of Mayra Santacruz and Haydee Lopez, to advance to the main draw. They won their opening match, defeating Vasiliki Arvaniti and Panagiota Karagkouni of Greece in straight sets, before seeing their tournament end in the second round with a loss to Martha Revuelta Bibiana Candelas of Mexico.
Despite the loss, the Canadians were happy with their performance on the big stage.
“It’s bittersweet because we know we could have gone further but we still had a great showing and I am happy with the result,” Humana-Paredes said. “We played strong, talented teams so there’s a lot to learn from and to implement into our training.”
Also competing at the event was fellow Lions outside hitter Brandie Wilkerson, who teamed with Claudia Seguin. They went 0-3 in Pool F, with a trio of three-set losses.
Both Humana-Paredes and Wilkerson had tremendous four seasons with the Lions. Humana-Paredes, York’s female athlete of the year in 2012, is a three-time OUA all-star and a CIS second-team all-Canadian, while Wilkerson is a four-time all-star and two-time all-Canadian.
Humana-Paredes has also had a tremendous beach volleyball career in the last two seasons, winning multiple medals at various NORCECA events. She and Pishcke also won the bronze medal at the U23 world championships in Poland last summer and finished fourth at the FISU Games in Russia.
With files from FIVB.org