WAIKIKI – It took all of, oh, 10 minutes for Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan to get into off-season mode after winning the AVP Hawai’i Open on Sunday. Pavan sealed the final against April Ross and Alix Klineman the way she sealed so many matches this season: A massive block for their second AVP win of the year. Then they did their requisite interviews, splashed a little water, toweled off for a second.
Then came the Mai Tais.
“It’s offseason, baby!” Humana-Paredes said, clinking her cup with Pavan’s. “Very strong. Very strong.”
It was a pizza and beer celebration after they won in Manhattan Beach, cementing their names on the Pier. Here in Hawai’i? Sushi and Mai Tais.
“Gotta keep it festive,” Pavan said. “Season’s over so there’s no superstition. We’re going to go wild with this one drink.”
They have earned more than one after this season, a year in which they continued to author nearly the entire Canadian beach volleyball record book — first Canadians to win the Commonwealth Games, first to win a Major medal, first to win World Championships, first to win an AVP. Then they won another, in Hawai’i, against the team they have seen in so many finals and critical matches, the same team with whom they seesaw for the title of best in the world.
Yes, the drink — or a big, gigantic, bottomless one — has been earned.
Earned to the point that this is legitimately their off-season. While a number of the Olympic hopefuls will be traveling to China in October, and then to Mexico in November, they’re going home. They’re resting.
They’ve earned it.
“It’s all food-based,” Pavan said of their list of celebratory spots they’re looking to hit in Hawai’i. Poke? Yep. Fish tacos? Absolutely. Sushi? For sure.
Just not water, evidently. At the end of their interview on Amazon Prime with Kevin Barnett and Camryn Irwin, Barnett and Irwin had waters delivered. Pavan and Humana-Paredes stuck with the mai-tais.
They’ve earned every last drop.