2016-09-21 18:34:00 CET
We countdown our favorite moments from the finals…
This week we’re counting down our favorite five memories from the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals in Toronto.
Here’s number three…
Bansley versus Pavan
Before the Swatch World Tour Finals kicked off we had drama. Just weeks before the tournament was due to illuminate Polson Pier, Olympic quarterfinalists Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley revealed that they were ending their partnership BEFORE the finals!
With a wildcard in their hands as the highest-ranked Canadian team on the FIVB World Tour, the split meant only one of the girls could advance to the main draw. With new partners by each of their sides, a country quota match was arranged. For the first time, Heather and Sarah would face off head-to-head on Center Court.
Pavan partnered Melissa Humana-Paredes while Bansley had the help of Brandie Wilkerson. With a crowd full of family, friends and Canadian fans it was a unique atmosphere for a special one-off clash. And you could cut the tension on the sand with a knife. Who would prevail? Nobody was sure. Could Brandie and Melissa cope with the hype surrounding such a high-profile contest?
In the end the match was decided by an extraordinary performance from Bansley. Dominating the court and repelling everything that was thrown at her by the opposition, Heather was unplayable. She and Brandie, who was bossing it at the net, stormed to a 2-0 victory.
Heather and Brandie kept the momentum going with an effortless 2-0 win over Menegatti/Giombini of Italy in their first pool play match and then won the first set against Laboureur/Sude. They couldn’t see out a win against the Germans and had to settle for a place in the last 16.
Paired against Olympic gold medalists Ludwig/Walkenhorst in their first elimination match, the Canadians fought all the way, taking the game to a deciding set before the Germans toughened up and edged a thrilling match 15-10 in the third.
So while Heather and Brandie bravely bowed out against the eventual champions there was plenty to be proud about for the home team…but who knows what lies in store for both partnerships next season!
Top referee waves goodbye to the beach
Which women ruled the roost at Polson Pier
We discover which teams served, spiked and sided-out the best…
Sometimes there are more important things in life than beach volleyball