Canadian team named for world championships in beach volleyball

OTTAWA – Volleyball Canada announced today its six-member team for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships set for June 13-19 in Rome.

Canada has two teams in women’s competition with veterans Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., as well as Heather Bansley (in photo) and Elizabeth Maloney both of Toronto.

On the men’s side, Christian Redmann of Toronto and Ben Saxton of Calgary is the Canadian pair. They are one of three wildcard teams selected for the competition.

Martin and Lessard launched their 2011 season last week and placed a solid 13th at the FIVB World Tour stop in Myslowice, Poland. Bansley and Maloney, won gold and bronze at stops on the NORCECA (North and Central America and Caribbean) circuit this spring and have also competed at three stops on the World Tour.

Redmann and Saxton, in their first season together, took bronze at a NORCECA event and reached the main draw at the World Tour stop in Shanghai earlier this month.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the U.S., and Brazilians Juliana and Larissa are the top seeds in men’s and women’s play respectively. There are 48 teams each for the men and the women.

The composition of the 12 pools will be announced on May 31 in Rome with the teams split into 12 pools of four with the top two teams from each group plus the eight best third-place finishers moving onto the knockout phase. Pool play matches for each gender will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (June 13 to 15) followed by the 32-team elimination rounds on Thursday and Friday (June 16 to 17). The semifinals will be held on Saturday evening, June 18 with the medal matches set for Sunday evening, June 19.