Two Canadian beach volleyball duos were eliminated in the playoffs at the Beach Pro Tour Challenge in Edmonton on Saturday, with both teams falling in consecutive sets in the city’s Ice District.
Heather Bansley and Sophie Bukovec, competing in their first tournament as partners, saw their run come to end in the round of 16 with a hard-fought 21-23, 16-21 loss to Switzerland’s Esmée Böbner and Zoé Vergé-Dépré, leaving them with a ninth-place finish as the top Canadian team.
Earlier in the day, fellow Canadians Sarah Pavan and Molly McBain suffered a 12-21, 14-21 loss in the round of 18 versus Brazil’s Agatha Bednarczuk and Rebecca Cavalcanti Barbosa Silva, who also defeated them last week at the stop in Espinho, Portugal.
McBain, who teamed up with two-time Olympian Pavan this year, stated they are making progress in their new partnership.
“We played a lot better in Portugal, losing in three sets,” McBain said in a release. “But we’re learning a lot. Hopefully, we can go back, watch the video and see what we can improve on.”
Pavan and McBain will look to bounce back from the 17th-place finish next week at the Elite16 event in Montreal, where they will be competing in the main draw versus the top teams in the world. Their first match is against the American duo of Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss.
“I think we gained some good experience here. The more games we play together, the better,” McBain said. “Hopefully, we can improve on this result in Montreal. We’re looking forward to it.”
Bansley and Bukovec will be competing in the qualifiers in Montreal.