Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan’s flight home from Austria was to mark the start of a much-deserved break after six weeks on the road, playing tournaments in Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Austria.

But instead, the women’s final at the 2019 FIVB Vienna Major got delayed until Sunday due to severe weather, forcing the pair to rebook their flights.

A 21-19, 21-17 defeat of Brazilians Maria Antonelli and Carolina Salgado in the gold-medal match made that wait totally worth it, as the Canadians headed home with 1,200 points and $40,000.

“Seriously, we weren’t thrilled about (the delay), but we understood they had to change it for some reason,” Humana-Paredes. “We had to change our flights and that was a bit of a mission last night, but we’re glad we did it and we could play in this beautiful weather on this beautiful day in this amazing stadium. It worked out perfectly, it’s a fairy-tale ending for sure.”

In this six-week stretch of FIVB travel, Humana-Paredes and Pavan won three gold medals, starting with the World Championships in Hamburg, then the three-star in Edmonton, and finally the five-star in Vienna.

“We made it through this six-week stretch with three gold medals and we capped off our Beach Majors trifecta here,” Pavan said. (She and Humana-Paredes won the Gstaad Major in 2018.) “We finally won Vienna so we’re happy.”

The silver medal for Maria Antonelli and Carol is their second of 2019 — they also placed second at the Gstaad Major.

Hours later, Norwegians Christian Sorum and Anders Mol won their seventh FIVB gold of the season, downing Alison Cerutti and Alvaro Filho 21-11, 21-17 in the Vienna men’s final.

Sorum and Mol are tied for the second-most wins in a single season by a men’s team on the FIVB World Tour. Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers hold the record with nine in 2010.

With a fourth, Dalhausser and his current partner Nick Lucena boasted the best finish of an American team of either gender in Vienna, despite losing to Grzegorz Fijalek and Michal Bryl of Poland 21-17, 17-21, 15-11 in the bronze-medal match.

Earlier in the day, Dalhausser and Lucena suffered a 21-18, 21-16 loss to Alison and Alvaro in the semis. Mol and Sorum defeated Bryl and Fijalek 23-21, 21-12 in the other men’s semifinal.

The next major FIVB beach volleyball tournament will be a four-star in Moscow, Aug. 14-18.


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