Bansley and Pavan win another World Tour medal

Cover: Volleyball Canada

Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan won the bronze medal at Switzerland’s Gstaad Major after the United States team of April Ross and Kerri Walsh pulled out due to injury.

It would have been a North American battle, but in the end Bansley and Pavan walked away with their third medal of the FIVB World Tour season. The path to the bronze medal game included a quarterfinal victory over third-seeded Antonelli/Juliana of Brazil. As of July 6th, Bansley/Pavan are second-ranked on the World Tour.

Two Brazilian teams played for the gold medal; Larissa/Talita beat Lima/Fernanda 2-0 (21-13, 21-17) in 32 minutes.

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It was the first medal for Bansley and Pavan since their second-place performance at the Porec Major in early June. They were fifth-place last week at 2015 beach worlds, the best-ever finish for a Canadian women’s team. This season’s FIVB points count toward country berths for Rio 2016.

And it’s been a best-ever year for the Canadian women’s beach program on the World Tour. By adding double-medallists Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas the two teams have a combined five medals. Before this season they had none.

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Broder and Valjas, as well as men’s teams Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter plus Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk, were ninth in Switzerland. A third women’s team, Melissa Humana-Paredes and Taylor Pischke, were 25th after minor injury issues according to Volleyball Canada.

Binstock/Schachter and Humana-Paredes/Pischke now move on to represent Canada at TO2015. All other teams head to the Yokohama Grand Slam, July 21-26, 2015.