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2018-08-17 11:23:00 CEST

Canadians ready for the big game

After three victories, Heather and Brandie are looking forward to play Sude/Laboureur

Heather made important defensive plays to close out the netHeather made important defensive plays to close out the net

Heather Bansley and Brandie Wilkerson continue on a roll in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Finals Hamburg 2018 presented by Vodafone as the Canadians have won all of their first three games at the Rotherbaum.

Their biggest challenge in the tournament might be yet to come, however, as they will return to the Red Bull Beach Arena later this Friday to play Germany’s Chantal Laboureur and Julia Sude. If they beat the Germans in their own home court, the Canadians will become the first women’s team to clinch a semifinal spot in the tournament.

“We want to win our pool and we got one more match to confirm it,” Heather commented. “That’s our goal for this evening and we’ll just build on what we’ve been doing in the last three matches.”

The Canadians are ready to deal with the loud German fans, which will certainly pack the stadium and support Julia and Chantal during each and every moment of the match. The Germans hold a 3-2 advantage over the Canadians in the World Tour, but Heather is confident they have what it takes to come out on top this time.

“We expect a big crowd, it’s going to be loud and everybody is going to be cheering for us,” she joked. “It will be tough, they’re playing at home, we faced them a few times this season and it’s always been close. We’re hoping to regroup and just play our best again.”

Beach Volleyball Major Series on Twitter

@HeatherBansley & @BrandieWilks 🇨🇦 have a message to their Canadian fans back home - Tune in on #BeachStream: 💯📺 #HamburgFinals #GivesYouWings

Her confidence can be easily explained by the great performances the team has displayed on its third World Tour Finals appearance. In the first match of Friday’s schedule, the Canadians took down Americans Summer Ross and Sara Hughes 2-1 (22-20, 14-21, 15-10) pushed by a dominant performance of Brandie, who owned the net and scored four block points, two of them in deciding moments in the third set.

“She was a really strong presence at the net,” Heather acknowledged. “I think she really intimidated the Americans and forced them to change their style of hitting, which made them make some mistakes and allowed me to play defense behind her. She did a great job blocking.”

Summer and Hughes, who have one victory and two setbacks so far, return to the courts on Saturday, when they play European champions Madelein Meppelink and Sanne Keizer of the Netherlands.

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