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2018-08-15 17:44:00 CET

Canadians excited for third Finals

Wilkerson and Bansley are looking for improvement after two ninth-places

Wilkerson spikes against the Dutch block at the Red Bull Beach ArenaWilkerson spikes against the Dutch block at the Red Bull Beach Arena

Brandie Wilkerson and Heather Bansley are competing in the Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone for the third-straight time this week, but they are definitely not taking it for granted.

After finishing ninth in Toronto in 2016 and in Hamburg last year, the Canadians started their campaign in the 2018 edition of the tournament with a 21-19, 21-15 victory over European champions Madelein Meppelink and Sanne Keizer of the Netherlands.

“We’re honored and excited to be here,” Brandie said after the match. “It’s an amazing group of very strong women here and we’re glad to be part of it.”

The Canadians are looking forward to use some of the lessons they learned in previous years to hopefully achieve a better result in the current season. Despite of their sound start, they know it was just the first of several steps they will need to take to chase glory at the Rothenbaum.

“Thinking that winning one game here means you are good to go for the end of the tournament would be dangerous,” the Swiss-born blocker added. “Every game is a new game and it’s going to provide a new challenge and that keeps us in our toes even more to win this one.”

Qualifying for the World Tour Finals for the third straight season was a result of Brandie’s and Heather’s most successful season as a team. In 2018, they won their first four World Tour medals together, including a gold in the four-star event in Warsaw.

“We’ve come a long way,” Heather acknowledged. “We’re working hard and we’re committed to continue working hard. We both feel we have more to give. It’s exciting to see where we are, but we know that we can also improve.”

The Canadians will have another tough challenge to face on Thursday, when they play Brazilians Carolina Solberg and Maria Elisa Antonelli. Meppelink and Keizer will try to bounce back against Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude.   

It's rally time! Don't miss a moment of #HamburgFinals - watch it live on BeachStream [link in bio 🙋‍♀️] @carol_solberg @mariaelisaantonelli @sarahughesbeach @summernoelross @vodafone_de @hamburg_de @redbullgermany

349 Likes, 3 Comments - Beach Volleyball Major Series (@beachmajorseries) on Instagram: "It's rally time! Don't miss a moment of #HamburgFinals - watch it live on BeachStream [link in bio..."

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