Two Canadian teams advance to main draw at final stop on world beach volleyball circuit

PHUKET, Thailand – Elizabeth Maloney and Heather Bansley of Toronto as well as Liz Cordonier of Vancouver and Jamie Broder of Victoria advance to the main draw on Wednesday at the final stop on the beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

Maloney and Bansley reached the main draw for the third time this season on the circuit. They defeated Changning Zhang and Fan Wang of China 21-16, 21-14 then completed the qualifying round beating Yarleen Santiago and Dariam Acavedo of Puerto Rico 21-17, 21-13.

The Puerto Ricans were the hottest team on the North and Central American circuit this year with five gold and nine medals overall.

“This is a nice way to start the last event of the season and head into 2011 Olympic qualifications,” said Maloney.

Cordonier and Broder, reached their first ever main draw on the circuit with victories over Karolina Sowala and Monika Brzostek of Poland 21-10, 21-11 and Shinakoa Tanaka and Sayaka Mizoe of Japan 27-25, 23-21.

Last season, Cordonier was named the top female athlete in Canadian university sport leading the UBC Thunderbirds to the national women’s indoor volleyball title.

Canada’s other two entries were eliminated. Kristina Valjas of Toronto and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., were 1-1 in qualifying as were Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Katherine Zakrzewski of Toronto.

Main draw action starts Thursday.