Bansley and Maloney one win short of main draw at FIVB World Tour

SANYA, China – Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney of Toronto came within a set of qualifying for the main draw at the second stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit.

The Canadian pair, busy this month with important tournaments in the North and Central America and Caribbean (NORCECA) conference, lost to Russia’s Ekaterina Khomyakova and Anna Vozakova 21-17, 12-21, 15-10 in the third and final round of qualifying.

Bansley and Maloney, who posted a win and a bronze on the NORCECA circuit and helped Canada qualify for the Continental Cup Final Olympic qualifying tournament before heading overseas, had a first round bye then defeated Rebekka Kadijk and Merel Mooren of the Netherlands 19-21, 21-19, 15-12.

Canada’s other two entries were eliminated in second round qualifying.

Kristina Valjas of Toronto and Caleigh Whitaker of Sharon, Ont., (at right on photo) posted a first round win over Laura Longuet and Emma Larche of France 21-17, 21-15 then lost to Daniela Gioria and Giulia Momoli of Italy 21-17, 22-24, 16-14 in the longest match of the qualifying tournament at 61 minutes.

Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon defeated Adrienne Marie and Claire Kelly of Australia 21-18, 21-12 in the first round then fell to Laura Giombini and Valeria Rosso of Italy 21-16, 21-12.