Elizabeth Maloney and Heather Bansley
Liz Maloney and Heather Bansley first teamed up together in 2010, and since then, they have quickly moved up the Canadian and International beach volleyball ranks. Domestically, they won the 2010 Canadian Beach National Championships, and finished a close second in 2011.
Internationally, Liz and Heather have quickly started making a name for themselves among the top teams in the world. Among them are an impressive 17th place finish at the 2011 World Championships in Rome, a 7th place finish at the QuĂ©bec Open, a 9th place finish at the Mazury Orlen Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki Poland,Â and another 7th place finish at the Bangsaen Thailand Open.Â Â They were also a part of the team that finished 2nd (along with Marie-AndrĂ©e Lessard and Annie Martin) at the NORCECA Continental Cup, Central Zone Qualification.
Originally from Waterdown, Ontario, Heather Bansley has been with the Canadian Senior National Beach Volleyball team since 2008. After playing indoor volleyball for five years at the University of Toronto, Heather graduated with HBA in English Literature and Linguistics in 2010.
Growing-up, Heather played indoor club volleyball for the Waterdown Raiders Volleyball Club and Toronto Blues Volleyball Club in the Ontario Volleyball Association.
Heather’s advice for young volleyball players: “Get out and play!Â Play as much as you can with as many different players as you can, and believe in yourself and your dreams!”
Liz Maloney hails from Etobicoke, Ontario, and spent four years playing indoor volleyball at American University in the NCAA Division I. During her time at AU, Liz helped her team win four consecutive Patriot League Championships and made four appearances in the NCAA Division I Championships. After graduating in 2007 with a BS in Business Administration, Liz returned home and turned to beach volleyball.
Ben Saxton and Christian Redmann
Saxton and Redmann are one of the best kept secrets in beach volleyball. Having only been together since the beginning of the 2011 season, they have already attained the main draw 10 times at World Tour events, with a number of good results; including a 13th place finish at this yearâ€™s Prague Open. Their progress was noted by the FIVB, as they were the only Canadian chosen to attend the event and finished in 17th. They also represented Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games, where they finished pool play with a record of 2-1, yet somehow found themselves not moving on in pool play. Ben and Christian capped off a very strong 2011 season with their first National Championships, as well as a 2nd place finish at the NORCECA Championships.
This former University of Alberta Golden Bear and Calgary native is somewhat of a newcomer to the international beach volleyball scene. Having started at the Youth World Championships in 2005, Saxton did not become a regular on the World Tour until 2011 when he joined forces with his current partner Christian Redmann. Ben has already seen much success on the international stage, regardless of his inexperience, most notably with a 1st place finish at the Jeux de la Francophonie in 2009. Saxton has also seen success on the court, playing 3 years with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, where he won a National Championship in 2008.
On the indoor club side, Ben played at Canuck Stuff Club while growing up in Calgary.Â His team won 18U Nationals in 2005 and 14U Nationals in 2002, and took Silver at 16U Nationals in 2004. The team also won Provincial titles in all the same years. During his time with the Golden Bears, Ben also won 2 National Gold medals and a National Silver medal.
Ben’s advice for young volleyball players: “Push yourself and don’t make excuses. The greatest strength of any beach player is being able to work harder than your opponents.”
Christian Redmann has seen is fair of impressive results over his career which began in 2004. Competing now with Ben Saxton, Redmann has partnered with a few notable players over the course of his career, notably Josh Binstock, and Rich Van Huizen. It was with Van Huizen that he found the most success, finishing 5th of the Moscow Grand Slam and 9th at the World Championships in 2009. Christian also represented Canada at the 2002 Junior World Championships, where he finished 5th with partner Chris Simek.
Christian’s advice for young volleyball players: “Learn to love it and never give up, just chip away one inch at a time and you will be surprised how far you can get.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Athlete Profiles on July 6th featuring Martin Reader, Josh Binstock, Annie Martin and Marie-Andree Lessard.
Courtesy of Volleyball Canada | Volleyball.ca
Supplementary information from Ontario Volleyball Association | OntarioVolleyball.org