Three Canadian teams in main draw

ROME (June18, 2013) – Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., and Heather Bansley of Toronto returned to the main draw on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit on Tuesday earning two victories in qualification.

Jamie Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto also advanced on the women’s side as did Ben Saxton of Calgary and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., for the men.

Pavan and Bansley, who missed the cut at last week’s stop in Poland after a ninth place finish in their partnership debut last month in Argentina, defeated compatriots Caleigh Whitaker and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., 19-21, 21-16, 15-13 in the first round of qualifying.  They followed by eliminating Jantine Van der Vlist and Marloes Wesselink of the Netherlands 21-17, 21-11.

Broder and Valjas had a first round bye but showed no signs of rust beating Giulia Toti and Grazziella Lo Re of Italy 21-11, 21-19.

They started quickly and won the first set, but after taking control of the second they were unable to shake off the Italians in front of a vociferous crowd. Eventually they refocused and held off Lo Re and Toti to reach the main draw.

“We came out really hard in the first set, we were very focused and we executed everything very well,” Broder said. “We had a little bit of a lapse in focus at the start of the second set, but I’m happy we could work back from that deficit and regain our focus to control the match again.”

In men’s competition, Saxton and Schalk return to the main draw for a second straight week with two comeback wins.  They opened with a 16-21, 21-17, 15-11 victory over Bart Bolsterlee and Tim Oude Elferink of the Netherlands and also defeated Jackson Henriques and Leonard Alexis Colina Chourio of Venezuela 15-21, 21-12, 15-11.

Christian Redmann of Toronto and Maverick Hatch of Comox, B.C., lost their opener and did not advance.

Main draw action starts Wednesday.

www.volleyball.ca and www.fivb.org