Memorable day for Bansley and Maloney at beach volleyball tour

 SANYA, China (April 27, 2012) – Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto gave their Olympic qualification hopes a giant boost on Friday stringing together three consecutives wins in main draw action at the second stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit.

With the wins, Bansley and Maloney moved into the fourth round of competition and can finish no lower than seventh.  The Canadians are in the heat of the battle for a top-16 placing in the FIVB Olympic rankings by the end of June which would qualify them for the Games.

“We are happy with how we played today and how we came back from our loss yesterday,” said Bansley. “We are thankful it was cooler today, yesterday it was pretty hot.”

After going 1-1 on Thursday, the Canadian pair seeded 15th, defeated 16th seeds Maria Tsiartsiani and Vasiliki Arvaniti of Greece 17-21, 21-17, 15-13 in 66 minutes, one of the longest matches of the tournament so far.

They followed with a 21-18, 21-17 win over Emilia Nystrom and Erika Nystrom of Finland and finally upset 11th seeds Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira of Brazil 21-19, 21-13.

With that upset, Bansley and Maloney believe they can surpass their best ever seventh place World Tour finish from a year ago.

“I think so,’’ said Bansley.  ‘’We’ve prepared very well in the off-season, we are playing well as a team and I think we can do better.’’

They face another potential three-match day again on Saturday starting against fourth seeds Krystina Kolocova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.

More information: www.fivb.org