Canada’s Bansley and Maloney win opener at Olympic test event

LONDON – Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto won their opening round robin match Tuesday at the Olympic test event in women’s beach volleyball.

Bansley and Maloney, who posted two top-10 results on the World Tour last month and are seeded fifth here, defeated Beh Shun Thing and Luk Tech Hua of Malaysia 21-15, 21-19 in 36 minutes.

Ashley Voth of Winnipeg and Jamie Broder of Victoria (in photo) as well as Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., and Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City lost their opening matches.

Voth and Broder fell to Britain’s Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns 21-10, 21-11.

“It was pretty hard playing the home team especially when the crowd was all cheering for the British team," Broder said. "It was hard game. They are a very talented team.”

The crowd was close to its 1,500 capacity and the less-experienced Broder and Voth were unable to work themselves into a position to dampen the public’s enthusiasm.

“It was tough because every time they won a point the crowd cheered, but it is something you have to work through it and get used to,” Voth added, “but it is pretty cool to play against the team that is at home though.”

The Canadian’s next match is against Brazilian duo Taiana and Vivian before they face the
United States’ Tealle Hunkus and Heather Lowe in their final pool game.

“I think we’ll be working on trying to sideout faster,” Broder said. “They were able to get a lot of points (that way) and that is always tough to come back from.”

The tournament features 12 matches per day on centre court with the pool play action continuing until Thursday before the Round of 16 on Friday before the quarterfinals on Saturday and semifinals and finals on Sunday.

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