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Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson advance to the quarterfinals at the Olympic Beach Volleyball tournament. The Canadians went through the gamut of emotions in their match against Americans Sarah Sponcil and Kelly Claes on Sunday, a three-set victory of 22-24, 21-18 and 15-13.Â
The Canadian duo led the first round almost from start to finish before struggling and giving way to an American comeback.
The second round was also hotly contested. Sponcil and Claes were leading 7-1 and looked to be heading for an easy win when the Canadians spoke to each other during a break.
On the way back, they seemed transformed, more constant and more combative. Bansley and Wilkerson then started their own comeback to win the second set by three runs.
We have been in this position before. The teams are coming from behind. They gave it to us in the first round. It didn’t bother, because we knew what we had to do and what we were controlling. We also applied lessons learned from the last game, said Wilkerson as he left the field.
It’s a great team, we knew it would be a battle. We played point at a time and for each other.
The final set gave way to a controversial game as the game was still hotly contested, at 12-11 in favor of Canada. The referees needed the replay to see if a ball went out or hit the line on the previous point. The officials reversed their decision twice before giving the point to the Bansley-Wilkerson duo, who took the 13-11 lead.
The confusion was great because on the screen the ball was off the field, but it said our challenge had been accepted. The referee waited until he had more information before telling us more, Bansley said.
The tension was great. Everything was moving slowly because both teams wanted this point. The referee made the right decision, added Wilkerson.
This moment played in the minds of Sponcil and Claes. The Americans gave the Canadians an easy end to the game for the win.
This Canadian duo took 3rd place in Group C with just one victory in three games. Sponcil and Claes, they had not known the defeat in the tournament.
Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson will get to know their quarterfinal opponents for the next few hours.