Canadians hit stride early in Olsztyn

Olsztyn, Poland, August 26, 2015 – Canadian pair Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan continued the impressive form that has propelled them to second in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Rankings with two wins from two on the opening day of the women’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Olsztyn Grand Slam on Wednesday. 

The pair reached the quarterfinals last week at the Long Beach Grand Slam and they took that form with them as they defeated compatriots Jamie-Lyn Broder and Kristina Valjas 2-0 (21-19, 21-16) and then followed up by defeating Greece’s Vasiliki Arvaniti and Maria Tsiartsiani 2-0 (21-15, 21-17).

“It is a good start to pool play,” Bansley said. “We had a bit of a slow start this morning and we are so happy that we had a better start this afternoon and could bring a bit more energy to our second match. It was a case of us a little bit lethargic this morning.”

Bansley and Pavan have enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2015 with two silvers and two bronze from World Tour events and it is a mark of their progress that finishing in the quarterfinals of Long Beach is considered disappointing. 

“We’re really disappointed and while fifth isn’t bad we really wanted more from last week,” Pavan said. “We wanted to build on that and we don’t want to leave here disappointed, so it is really important to come out on top of our pool and that is what we are looking to do tomorrow and then keep getting better as the week goes on.”

Vanuatu aiming to match best result

Vanuatu’s Pata Miler and Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti also reached the Long Beach quarterfinals, but ended the opening day with one win and one defeat. 

They defeated Italy’s Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth in their opener, but then lost to Brazil’s World Championships silver medallists Taiana Lima and Fernanda Alves to leave them requiring a win over Finland’s Riikka Lehtonen and Taru Lahti to ensure their progress to the elimination rounds. 

“In the second we dropped our game a bit and didn’t play our best,” Pata said. “Tomorrow we have to win our next game to go through. They will be tough and we need to beat them to ensure we go through.”

The pair began the Olsztyn Grand Slam in the qualifiers, but played down any fears of fatigue. Long Beach was the first time that they reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal and they are hoping to find the same form in Olsztyn. 

“We only had one game yesterday and then we were able to rest,” Pata said. “It is the first time we’ve finished fifth and we had a very good tournament in Long Beach. We want to play like last week here.”


All the News