Canadian Beach Duo Finishes Fourth at World Tour Finals

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beach volley

Pavan and Bansley Lose Bronze Medal Battle to Brazil

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., October 4, 2015 – In a battle between two of the top three-ranked teams on the international beach volleyball circuit, Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas of Brazil posted a 2-1 (22-20, 14-21, 15-10) win over Canadians Heather Bansley (Waterdown, Ont.) and Sarah Pavan (Kitchener, Ont.) today to capture the bronze medal at the US$500,000 SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals.

“Every match is a learning experience, especially against this level of competition. We will take something away from this and hopefully play better next time,” said Bansley.

Agatha and Barbara split the $30,000 third-place prize, with fourth-place Bansley and Pavan splitting $15,000. for the non-points event featuring the top eight teams on the SWATCH FIVB World Tour as of September 6 along with two “wild card” entries.

“This is a preview of what the Olympics are going to look like at the end, so it’s a really good opportunity for us to see how we would respond against this kind of competition. We came here to win; unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Pavan said.  “After that heartbreaking first set, where we really made a push, I’m proud of how we responded in the second where we dominated.  But we weren’t able to pull it out…. It’s disappointing, but definitely a good season overall.”

It was the third-straight win by Agatha and Barbara over the Canadians on the FIVB World Tour with Bansley and Pavan’s only win being in a 2014 Brazilian Grand Slam in Sao Paulo last September. The two teams met for a FIVB gold medal earlier this season in the Czech Republic with Agatha and Barbara winning the title.

The third-ranked team on the 2015 FIVB World Tour, Bansley and Pavan posted the best-ever results for a Canadian women’s team on the international circuit. In 12 FIVB starts this season, Bansley and Pavan collected two silver medals, four podium placements and eight quarter-final appearances with more than $200,000 in earnings.

With the FIVB sanctioning women’s beach volleyball events for the first-time in 1992, the 2015 season produced Canada’s first-ever podium finishes.  In addition to Bansley and Pavan’s efforts, Jamie Broder (Victoria, BC) and Kristina Valjas (Toronto, Ont.) claimed Canada’s first-ever gold medal by winning the world tour season-opening event in Fuzhou, China.

Broder and Valjas also competed in the SWATCH FIVB World Tour Finals this week and placed ninth after entering the competition as the sixth-ranked team on the international circuit. In addition to the China gold, Broder and Valjas placed third in a Swiss Open in Lucerne and fourth at the SWATCH Major stop in Porec, Croatia.

Canada’s male team entry in the event, Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., and Ben Saxton of Calgary, finished seventh. The pair is Canada’s highest ranked men’s team at 10th in the world.

Brazilian pairs won both the men’s and women’s events in Fort Lauderdale.

With reports from FIVB and Volleyball Source

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