Canadians finish a season-best ninth on FIVB beach volleyball World Tour

PHUKET, Thailand – Heather Bansley (in photo) and Elizabeth Maloney of Toronto completed a strong run at the final stop on the FIVB beach volleyball World Tour and will place a season high ninth on the circuit after dropping their two matches on Friday.

Bansley and Maloney, seeded 26th, had reeled off four straight wins in the first two days of competition including an upset of world champions Jennifer Kessy-Boss and April Ross of the U.S. on Thursday.

However in Friday’s quarterfinal the Canadians lost to second seeds Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig of Germany 21-12, 21-14 and in the repechage were beaten by fourth seeds Kerri Walsh and Nicole Branagh of the U.S., 21-16, 21-18.  

Walsh dominated the circuit with Misty May-Treanor in 2007 and 2008 and returned to the circuit just last week in China.

‘’We played three teams ranked in the top 10 in the world,’’ said Maloney.  ‘’The level of competition experience provided a great building block for the 2011 Olympic qualification year.’’

Friday’s result caps a promising season for Bansley and Maloney which also included the Canadian title and a gold medal on the North and Central American (NORCECA) circuit.