FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Porec MAJOR | 2 - 7 juin 2015


Press release

Australia & Brazil Confront Canada Porec Major Women’s Gold

Heather Bansley will be digging for gold Saturday at the Porec with Canadian partner Sarah Pavan as the North American country advanced two teams to the SWATCH Major Series women's "final four".

Porec, Croatia, June 5, 2015 - Two teams from Canada will compete with pairs from Australia and Brazil for the women’s gold medal at the US$800,000 Porec Major as the tandems of Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan and Jamie Broder/Kristina Valjas won two matches each here Friday to reach the semi-finals at the inaugural SWATCH Major Series event.

With the “final four” appearances Saturday, the Canadians become the first women’s teams from the North American country to reach the semi-finals at a “major” FIVB World Tour event.  Both pairs reached international podiums earlier this season at FIVB “open” events China, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

The 18th-seeded Broder/Valjas will play top-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil in the first semi-final as the two teams will be meeting for the first-time on the FIVB World Tour.  The 17th-seeded Bansley/Pavan will meet 22nd-seeded Louise Bawden/Taliqua Clancy of Australia in the second match to set the field for the medal lineup.  The Aussies posted a pair of three-set wins over Bansley and Pavan at “major” events in Russia and The Netherlands last season.

While the Canadians were achieving their noteworthy news, Clancy also made news by advancing to her first-ever FIVB World Tour “final four” as the Porec Major is her 28th start on the international circuit.  Bawden is playing in her 64th FIVB event with two pervious “final four” finishes in 2009 (Poland silver) and 2011 (Thailand fourth) with Becchara Palmer.

The “major” news for Talita and Larissa is that the Brazilians will be looking for their sixth-straight gold medal finish on the FIVB World Tour.  After placing ninth in their first two events last July in The Netherlands and the United States, Talita and Larissa ended the 2014 campaign by reaching the top of the FIVB podiums in Austria, Poland, Brazil and Argentina.  The Brazilians started 2015 by winning the FIVB World Tour stop last week in Moscow.

Talita and Larissa defeated teams from Finland and the United States to reach Saturday’s semi-finals.  The Brazilians posted a 2-1 (17-21, 21-12 and 15-11) win in 50 minutes over 20th-seeded Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat of the United States.  The win improved Talita and Larissa’s 2015 match mark to 11-1 with their only setback being last week to Bansley and Pavan in Moscow pool play.

Broder and Valjas, who had to qualify for the Porec Major Main Draw with two wins Tuesday, opened Friday with a win over Spain before advancing to Saturday’s medal rounds with a 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) win in 38 minutes over third-seeded Agatha Bednarczuk/Barbara Seixas of Brazil.  Broder and Valjas have two FIVB “open” medals this season, including Canada’s first-ever women’s gold medal on the FIVB World Tour at April’s stop in Fuzhou, China.  The pair also placed third in the Lucerne Open in Switzerland.

Bansley and Pavan’s Friday started with a win over a German pair before eliminating ninth-seeded Marta Menegatti/Viktoria Orsi Toth of Italy with a 2-1 (20-22, 21-19, 15-7) victory in 59 minutes.  Bansley and Pavan became the second Canadian women’s team to reach a FIVB gold medal match in the Czech Republic where they were defeated by Agatha and Seixas in the Prague finale two weeks ago.

The Aussies joined Talita and Larissa as the only unbeatens in the Porec Major as the two Canadians won only one of three pool play matches to advance to the 24-team elimination bracket as third-place finishers in their group.  Bawden and Clancy also won their group in Moscow, but lost in the second-round of elimination in the Russian capital.

Bawden and Clancy opened play Friday with a win over a Brazilian team before scoring a 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) win in 35 minutes over 11th-seeded Karla Borger and Britta Buthe of Germany. It was the Aussies second win over Borger and Buthe, who dropped a two-set decision to Bawden and Clancy in pool play Wednesday.

Being played in the heart of the colorful Croatian coastal city on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, the Porec Major will stage medal matches Saturday for women and Sunday for men.  The winning teams in both genders will share the $57,000 first-place prize along with gathering 800 “valuable” points that will help determine the field for the season-ending SWATCH Major Series event in the United States at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Following this and next week’s SWATCH Major Series event in Norway (June 9-14), the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla. (June 16-21).  The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands (June 26-July 5).

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