2017-08-03 14:16:00 CET
NORCECA rivalry goes Bansley and Wilkerson’s way
Canada’s Heather Bansley revealed that a scouting mission and continental knowledge helped her and Brandie Wilkerson book a place in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships presented by A1 quarterfinals.
The pair, who joined forced shortly before the end of last season, had to dig deep on side court 2 to overcome fellow NORCECA rivals Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Martinez Ortega in three close sets.
“The Cuban teams are in NORCECA so we have seen them before,” said Bansley. “We are fortunate enough to have a nice team here to support us with video so we were able to scout their matches from earlier in the tournament. We have to give credit to the rest of our team scouting and match reports and all of us working together to come up with a plan.”
Having took the first set, the pair lost the second to the surprise packages from the Caribbean – only for Bansley and Wilkerson to do just enough in the decider to book a last-eight clash against America’s Lauren Fendrick and April Ross on Friday.
“In the second set we were trying different things and we got a little bit loose maybe, so we had to make sure we tightened up our shots,” said Wilkerson, who with Bansley beat Germans Maggie Kozuch and Karla Borger on Wednesday. “We had to stay confident and refresh, and focus on every point.”
A ninth place finish was a huge achievement for the Cubans, who yesterday caused an upset by beating Dutch pair Meppelink/van Gestel.
“Our result in this tournament was amazing,” said Ortega. “We agreed that our goal would to make out of the pool and we ended up as one of the best 16 teams here after losing a very tough match. It was very good.”
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