Toronto’s Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney strung together three consecutive wins in main draw action at the second stop on the FIVB World Tour beach volleyball circuit Friday in Sanya, China.
With the wins, Bansley and Maloney moved into the fourth round of competition and can finish no lower than seventh. The Canadians are battling for a top-16 placing in the FIVB Olympic rankings by the end of June which would qualify them for the London Games.
After going 1-1 on Thursday, the Canadian pair seeded 15th, defeated 16th seeds Maria Tsiartsiani and Vasiliki Arvaniti of Greece 17-21, 21-17, 15-13 in 66 minutes, one of the longest matches of the tournament so far.
They followed with a 21-18, 21-17 win over Emilia Nystrom and Erika Nystrom of Finland and finally upset 11th seeds Liliane Maestrini and Angela Vieira of Brazil 21-19, 21-13.
They face another potential three-match day again on Saturday starting against fourth seeds Krystina Kolocova and Marketa Slukova of the Czech Republic.
On the men’s side, Josh Binstock of Toronto and Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., finished ninth at the World Tour stop in Myslowice, Poland.
Binstock and Reader, in their first season together, fell 21-19, 21-15 to second-seeded Americans Matthew Fuerbringer and Nicholas Lucena following two earlier victories Friday.
The Canadian duo first defeated Yury Bogatov and Dmitri Barsouk of Russia 24-26, 23-21, 15-11 and then dumped Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins of Latvia 22-20, 15-21, 15-12. Binstock and Reader, who are attempting to qualify for the Continental Cup Olympic qualifier in June, posted an overall 6-2 record at the tournament in Poland.
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