Canadians Redmann and VanHuizen drop heartbreaker but still in contention

ROME – Christian Redmann and Richard VanHuizen of Toronto lost a close opening round robin match in the main draw on Wednesday at the third stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit.

The Canadians, seeded 24th, fell to eighth-seed Italian brothers Paolo and Matteo Ingrosso 21-13, 16-21, 15-13 in 58 minutes. Redmann and VanHuizen opened the tournament Tuesday winning their two matches in the qualification round. Last season they were nominated as rookies of the year on the World Tour. 

“Our standard now is to be in the main draw,” said Redmann. “Still we were pretty upset about losing today. It’s a match we felt we could win. The Italians were fired up being at home and we were a bit tired after playing so much and training so hard lately.”

Canada is in a four team pool in the main draw. The eight pool winners automatically get a bye to the round of 16 while second and third battle it out in a repechage to gain those other eight spots. Redmann and VanHuizen play their second round robin match on Thursday.

“The Canadians are a very tough team,” said Matteo Ingrosso. “Redmann is a very good defensive player behind the big block of VanHuizen (who stands 6’9’’).”

In women’s play, Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Marie-Andrée Lessard of Laval, Que., were eliminated in second round in qualifying. They lost to Roos van derHoeven and Jantine Van der Vlist of the Netherlands.

‘’We didn’t put enough pressure on their service reception,’’ said Martin. ‘’Our serves should have been harder. They were a team we didn’t know very well but they played a strong physical game.’’

Notes: On Sunday in Chiapas, Mexico, Heather Bansley and Elizabeth Maloney, both of Toronto, won the bronze medal at a stop on the NORCECA (North and Central America) beach volleyball circuit. Bansley and Maloney defeated compatriots Liz Cordonier of Vancouver and Jamie Broder of Victoria in the bronze medal match 17-21, 21-19, 15-12.

Cordonier helped the UBC Thunderbirds to a perfect 27-0 season and the national title in women’s indoor volleyball this season and was named the top female athlete in Canadian university sport for the 2009-2010 season.

On the men’s side, Sam Schachter of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Cameron Wheelan of Barrie, Ont., placed fourth.