Two Canadian pairs advance to round of 16 at beach volleyball Olympic test event

LONDON – Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto as well as Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., and Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City advanced to the round of 16 on Thursday at the FIVB beach volleyball international.

The competition is the Olympic test event for next summer’s Games.

Bansley and Maloney, seeded fifth, concluded the round robin with a 2-1 record after losing their third match on Thursday. They finished second in their pool to get a direct berth to the playoff round.

MacTavish and Rodrigue, seeded 10th, concluded their round robin at 1-2 following a loss to third-seeds Jennifer Kessy and April Ross. 

MacTavish and Rodrigue then played one of two lucky losers matches, a second chance match to get into the playoffs, and defeated Christina Roubanis and Joanna Papageorgiou of Greece 21-16, 20-22, 15-11.

The round of 16 gets goes Friday. Bansley and Maloney face ninth-seeds Lucy Boulton and Denise Johns of Britain while MacTavish and Rodrigue battle number-two Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China.

For more information: www.volleyball.ca and www.fivb.org