Beach

Beach volleyballers Bansley, Wilkerson lose to Brazil

Canada's beach volleyball duo of Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson dropped their final match of Olympic group play on Thursday, losing 21-18, 21-18 to the world No.1 team of Agatha Bednarczuk and "Duda" Santos Lisboa of Brazil.

World No.1 team from Brazil top Canadians 21-18, 21-18

Canada's Brandie Wilkerson, left, attempts a kill on Brazil's Agatha Bednarczuk in their final match of Group play at the 2020 Toyko Olympic Games on Thursday. (Pilar Olivares/Reuters)

Canada's beach volleyball duo of Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson dropped their final match of Olympic group play on Thursday, losing 21-18, 21-18 to the world No.1 team of Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Santos Lisboa of Brazil.

It was a see-saw battle until late in both sets. Canada's service game failed them in the first set with five errors, while the Brazil's defence carried them through, out-digging Canada 15-8 in the match.

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"Disappointing, yeah. We wanted to come here and win, and we weren't the better team today. So that's disappointing," Bansley said after the match.

"Obviously we came in confident with a really great plan. So it's just a matter of execution. And the beauty of the sport is it'll just speak for itself whether you've done it or not," Wilkerson added.

"The tournament's not over."

Canada hung in with the Brazilians through much of the first set, despite the five service errors, never trailing by more than two before Brazil stretched the lead to three following a service error and a missed kill. Bednarczuk put the set away with one of her game-high 15 kills in the match.

Canada's Heather Bansley dives for a ball. Brazil's defence carried them through the match, out-digging Canada 15-8. (Yuri Cortez/Agence France Presse)

Canada also stayed in it for most of the second set, too, finding their serve and never trailing by more than two points before Brazil went on a 6-1 run, stretching the lead to five.

Canada clawed back facing match point, closing the gap to two, before Santos Lisboa put the match away with the last of her 13 kills.

Brazil's Eduarda "Duda" Santos Lisboa, left, attempts a kill past Canada's Brandie Wilkerson. Santos Lisboa, one half of the world No.1 team, had 13 kills in the win. (Yuri Cortez/Agence France Presse)

With the win, Bednarczuk and Santos Lisboa will move on directly to the single-elimination round of 16, finishing second in Pool C behind China. The top two teams from each pool qualify directly for the knockout round.

Bansley and Wilkerson, who now finish in third place in Pool C, will have to wait and see how the rest of the group play finishes to find out in which round they'll play next. The two best third-place teams qualify directly for the round of 16, while the remaining third-ranked teams face off in the "lucky loser" round to determine the last two knockout spots.

Earlier in the day fellow Canadians Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes beat Switzerland with a straight-sets victory to remain undefeated in Tokyo, taking the top spot in Pool A and moving into the Round of 16.

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Clarifications

  • A previous version of this story stated that Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson will move into the "lucky loser" round. The story has been updated to clarify that the two could still qualify directly for the single-elimination round of 16 as one of the two best third-place teams, and that the remaining third-place teams face each other to determine the final two knockout spots.
    Jul 29, 2021 3:47 PM ET

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