Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Polley pushed the fancied Canadian duo Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan all the way - after another epic extended first set, the kiwis showed all ther skills and teamwork before going down 1-2.
"We're super stoked," said Shaunna Polley. We've always looked up to them as athletes and players, and to go toe to toe with them, with such long rallies, it's an awesome feeling."
The Beach Ferns will play Vanuatu pair Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko for Bronze at 7am Monday NZ time, which will be live on SKY Sport 6 / Birmingham 3 or Sky channel 056.
"A big part of tomorrow will just be concentrating on ourselves, and just playing our game, trying to enjoy it and leaning in to the pressure, we're excited," said Alice Zeimann.
Like the two teams' pool match, the first set went the distance, with the kiwis closing it out this time 31-29, with both sides having multiple set balls and saves. The set started with the teams going point for point, before Canada took a slight edge - but the kiwis fought back with a clutch Zeimann ace bringing it back to 20-19 and a desperate Polley dive locking it up at 20-all. In the end a Humana-Paredes soft block drifted out to give the Ferns the set, to their delight.
The Canadians took control of the second set early and extended their lead to 17-9, before the Ferns could get back in the game, but it was too big a hill to climb.
The third set again went largely point for point, with the Ferns pushing hard and saving rallies with some big Polley serves getting vital points, and a mix of power and subtlety at the net. They earned a side out at 11-10 with a well placed Zeimann touch, which she followed with a massive block to get to 13-13. With both teams desperate to close the match out, the Canadians' experience showed, despite a tremendous Polley dig and soft touch at the death, taking the third set 19-17 and the match.
It was a performance to be proud of, before re-focusing on the match for third place and a medal.
"Every time we play it becomes more and more comfortable," said Alice Zeimann. "Shaunna is great, she's been in that moment before and the fact we have such good chemistry just really makes it easy on the court."
CAN Pavan/Melissa 2 - 1 Zeimann/Polley NZL
29 - 31
21 - 14
19 - 17