Wins all around for Canadians at NORCECA beach tournament

GUATEMALA CITY- Heather Bansley scored an ace on match point as she and Elizabeth Maloney defeated Niriam Sinal and Ion Caney of Cuba 18-21, 21-15, 15-13 in their opening match at the second stop on the NORCECA beach volleyball circuit.

The Toronto pair, bronze medallists at the season opening event two weeks ago in the Cayman Island, were pleased with their performance.

‘’Cuba is a very athletic team,’’ said Maloney.  ‘’We let the first game slip but we were able to stay aggressive in the second to go to a third.  Heather's aggressive serving won us the game.’’

Jamie Broder of Victoria and Kristina Valjas of Toronto played twice Friday. They lost 21-17, 21-18 to Martha Revuelta and Diana Estrada of Mexico then defeated Elki Philip and Pauline Woodroffe of Trinidad and Tobago 21-8, 21-13.

‘’ This is the first time Kristina and I have played outside this year, which has taken some getting used to,’’ said Broder. ‘’During our first match we struggled with our consistency in the wind, but by the end of the day we were feeling much more comfortable.’’

On the men’s side, Christian Redmann of Toronto and Ben Saxton of Calgary defeated Trinidad and Tobago 21-11, 21-15 in their season debut. 

‘’It was our first match outside so we just tried to keep it simple and stay solid,’’ said Redmann. ‘’We felt if we controlled our side of the net we would be okay.’’

Maverick Hatch and Sam Schachter of Toronto played twice opening with a victory over a pair from the Cayman Islands 21-12, 21-7 before falling to Jason Wight and Michael Bruning of the U.S., 24-22, 21-17.

Competition continues Saturday with the end of pool play and the start of the playoff elimination round.