Bansley and Maloney equal best-ever result to conclude World Tour circuit

PHUKET, Thailand (November 5, 2011)- A great tournament run and a breakthrough season concluded on Saturday for Heather Bansley (in photo) and Liz Maloney of Toronto as they finished seventh at the final stop on the FIVB World Tour circuit.

The Canadian pair equalled its best-ever international result achieved this past July at the World Tour stop in Quebec City. The showing should also help Bansley and Maloney inch their way up some more in the world rankings.  They are currently 29th.

On Saturday, the 18th seeded Bansley and Maloney lost to Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Hanson of the U.S., 21-19, 21-15. The American pair was upset in their very next match missing a berth in the semi by one win.

‘’(We are) disappointed with our loss, but thrilled with our seventh place result overall to close out the season,’’ tweeted Maloney. ‘’ Great tournament and season. Way to earn some big Olympic qualification points and put us in the main draw next year.’’

Bansley and Maloney started the tournament Thursday going 1-1 in the double elimination format then strung together three consecutive wins on Friday through the losers bracket to stay in contention.

They emerged as Canada’s top international pair in 2011 posting four top-10 finishes on the World Tour circuit and placing 17th at the world championships in Rome.

Bansley and Maloney can gain an Olympic berth automatically if they are ranked in the top-16 in the world on June 16, 2012.