Bansley and Maloney bring fire to Europe, pair heads to second round of playoffs

STARE JABLONKI, Poland- Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto are continuing their hot play on the old continent this week as they advanced Thursday to second round play in women’s action at a $600,000 Grand slam event on the FIVB World Tour stop beach volleyball circuit.

Bansley and Maloney sparkled just last week in Quebec City with a career high seventh place finish on the World Tour. With a barely a moment to catch their breath between the end of the Quebec tournament and the travel to Poland, they have reeled off five wins in six matches over the first three days of competition.

They posted two wins in qualifying including one over compatriots Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of LaSalle, Que. In the round robin of the main draw, they upset the ninth seeds to enter today’s last round robin macth at 1-1.

On Thursday they completed the round robin with a victory to finish at 2-1 to advance to the playoff round. In their first playoff, Bansley and Maloney, seeded 24th here, defeated Renata Martins Ribeiro and Priscilla Lese Lima of Brazil 21-18, 16-21, 15-8.

Their next opponent will be third seeds Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China who have reached the podium at three of the last four World Tour stops they have entered.

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