Canada’s Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan – the fifth-seeded team in the Olympic competition – posted their fourth-straight win on Copacabana by eliminating fellow Canadians Jamie Broder and Kristina Valjas 2-0 (21-16, 21-11) in 36 minutes.
“It’s unfortunate that we had to meet (Jamie and Kristina) so early in the draw – none of us really wanted that to happen, but once the game starts they become just another opponent who is in our way,” said Pavan, who is from Kitchener, Ont.
Bansley said: “For me, I just try to focus on each single point at a time until the match is over, nothing is set in stone. I think our game plan against them was effective, so we just stuck with that and didn’t have to stray too far from it.”
Broder (Victoria, BC) and Valjas (Toronto, ON) exit the competition with a respectable ninth finish. “A couple of years ago we didn’t believe that we could even get to the Olympics,” explained Valjas. “The fact that we are here, and we are top 10 in the world – we can’t ultimately feel bad about ourselves, but today it’s too bad we didn’t play as well as we know we can… It was Sarah and Heather’s day.”
Bansley/ Pavan now play Laura Ludwig/Kira Walkenhorst of Germany in a quarterfinal match-up of two teams who are unbeaten in the Rio Olympics so far. The winner will advance to the semi-finals, and the loser will be eliminated with a 5th-place finish.
The match is at 4 pm Brazilian time today (Aug. 14).
On the men’s side, the Netherlands’ Robert Meeuwsen and Alexander Brouwer booked their spot in the Olympic quarterfinals with a 2-0 (21-12, 21-15) win over Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk at the Copacabana Beach Arena on Saturday.
Saxton (Calgary) and Schalk (Red Deer, AB) finish ninth.
“Obviously we battled as hard as we could, but that team got on a roll and they were pretty unstoppable,” Schalk said after the match. “We were in a tough pool and battled super hard to get out of it. This is not the way we wanted it to end it, but there is nothing to be ashamed of; they’re the most physical team out there. But this experience has been amazing…beating Brazil in Brazil (in pool play) was very special.”
Men’s indoor recap
Canada swept Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-22) in men’s volleyball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games last night, and now four Pool A teams are tied at 2 wins and 6 points each at the end of the fourth round.
Graham Vigrass (Calgary) emerged top scorer of the match with 15 points, as Gordon Perrin and Gavin Schmitt added another 11 each. Captain Carlos Guerra was Mexico’s best scorer with 12 points.
It’s billed as Pool A “Monday mayhem” as aside from Italy (number one) and Mexico (last place) it’s up in the air as far as which teams will advance to the quarter finals.
Canada plays Italy at 8:30 pm local time on Aug. 15.
Please note: Local time is one hour ahead of Eastern time in Canada.
Check http://olympics.cbc.ca/ for broadcast times and schedules.