Main draw appearance big step for Canada’s Bansley and Maloney

SANYA, China – Canadian champions Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto couldn’t carry the momentum from a strong qualification round and drop their two main draw matches on Thursday at the second to last stop for the women on the FIVB beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

The Canadians, triple medallists this season on the NORCECA circuit, were seeded 18th for the main draw and lost their opening match 21-17, 22-24, 15-7 top to 15th seeds Daniela Gioria and Giulia Momoli of Italy. Then in a must-win repechage they were upset by Japanese pair Satoko Urata and Nishibori Takemi 21-19, 21-16.

Bansley and Maloney will rank 25th for the tournament that concludes this weekend, their second best result on the circuit this season.

In qualifying, Bansley and Maloney opened with an exciting three-set victory over a Russian pair then defeated a French team in straight sets to gain a spot in the main draw.

Kristina Valjas of Toronto and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., (in photo)as well as Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Katherine Zakrzewski of Toronto both won their opening matches in qualifying before losing the second match.

Jamie Brodeur and Liz Cordonier of Vancouver lost a tight three-set battle in their opening qualifying match.