The first Canadian victory at the Rio 2016 beach volleyball tournament was celebrated by Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley.
The women’s duo, who sit in 16th position at the FIVB Beach Volleyball rankings, contained the excitement of their Olympic debut and defeated Sophie van Gestel and Jantine van der Vlist of Netherlands2-0 (21-15, 21-17).
“It feels good to get a win. It was our first match and we had a lot of nerves and a lot of excitement, so it feels good to get that under our belt and get that experience,” said Bansley.
“To come out with a win is exactly what we wanted, and you know we will know what it’s like heading into our next matches.”
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The Olympic beach volleyball schedule is completely different from what the duo is used to competing at other international tournaments. While at the FIVB World Tour, for example, the athletes have more than one match in the same day, in the Olympics they have time to rest and get prepared for the next one.
“It’s a different competition schedule than we’re used to, we have tomorrow off and then we play the next day. It’s just going to be managing that time, but we use it to practice, watch video and prepare for our next match,” Bansley explained.
“It’s just a lot of time for preparation. I love to read books so I do that to rest my mind a little bit, but I love to be prepared and I love details. So, for me, I like having time to really nail down a game plan and know exactly what we’re doing,” said Pavan.
Pavan/Bansley will continue their journey at the group stage on Tuesday, when they will meet Joana Heidrich and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland.