Another strong start for Bansley and Maloney on World Tour

ALAND, Finland – Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney of Toronto earned a win and a loss to open main draw action on Wednesday at a stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit.

Bansley and Maloney, with top-10 finishes at their last two World Tour events, upset local favourites and ninth-seeds Emilia and Erika Nystrom of Finland 21-15, 21-17 on centre court in their opening match.

The 24th seeded Canadians faced a second tough opponent in eighth seeds Maria Clara Salgado Rufino and Carolina Soldberg Salgado of Brazil and lost 22-20, 21-19. Bansley and Maloney must now go through the losers bracket to climb back into the medal round. One more loss and they are eliminated.

They face seventh seeds Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo Macmillan of Spain on Thursday afternoon.

For more information: www.volleyball.ca and www.fivb.org