Wilkerson and Bansley fifth at World Tour Finals
Volleyball Canada – Saturday, August 18: Canada’s hopes for a medal at the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Hamburg, Germany, were dashed in the quarter finals today.
Barbora Hermannova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic defeated Heather Bansley (Waterdown, Ont.) and Brandie Wilkerson (Toronto) 2-1 (21-15, 17-21, 15-7) in just under an hour today. The Canadian team finishes fifth in the tournament standings.
“Having played each other for like the sixth time this year, we know each other pretty well so we knew it was going to be a fight,” said Wilkerson. “I think Heather and I stuck together and I’m proud of that. It just sucks to lose. We have a lot more to be proud of than upset about, so we can definitely look to that.”
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Wilkerson and Bansley came a close second to winning their pool, which would have given them a bye into the semifinals. But with a Brazilian pair finishing atop of Pool A, the Canadians ended up having to play today in the quarters.
Bansley said: “There were a lot of tough matches, all of the teams are top 10 in the world. All five of our matches were tough, so it was great to compete under pressure against the best. We know what we can improve on looking back on the week. … It is a really great way to finish the season.”
Canada’s Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan had a rocky start in Hamburg, but rallied back to win their two final pool matches yesterday. However, it wasn’t enough to advance to the quarters. “It’s a bittersweet ending if it is an ending to our season,” said Humana-Paredes, after yesterday’s pool matches.
The Tour Finals features only the top teams in the world, with the winner in each gender receiving $150,000 in prize money.
In domestic beach competition, Beach Nationals is underway in Toronto, with the Sunday finals live streamed on Volleyball Canada’s YouTube channel.
Photo: FIVB/Beach Major Series