NEWS
09/02/2016 10:07 EDT | Updated 09/03/2017 01:12 EDT

Canadian beach volleyball pair Pavan, Bansley split after four years together

Canadian Olympic beach volleyball duo Sarah Pavan and Heather Bansley have ended their four-year long partnership.

Volleyball Canada said Friday that Pavan, of Kitchener, Ont., and Bansley, of Waterdown, Ont., had planned to split up at the end of the 2016 Olympics before they even got to Rio.

"Most sports have a reshuffle period where people retire, athletes switch teams, new athletes emerge, athletes start families, etc.," Canadian beach volleyball head coach Steve Anderson said in a statement. "For a lot of sports this happens yearly after the playoffs and championships. For beach volleyball our big reshuffle period comes after the Olympic Games.

"It's not unusual for teams to split up after four-plus years of playing together, and it's not uncommon that they later reunite the way that (Americans) Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor did leading into the London Olympics."

Pavan and Bansley were ranked fifth in the world heading into Rio. They went undefeated through the preliminary round at Copacabana Beach before losing in straight sets to world No. 1 Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst of Germany in the quarter-finals.

Pavan and Bansley will compete with different partners at the World Tour Finals in Toronto later this month.

"Heather and Sarah are professional and fierce competitors, and now that they will be on the opposite sides of the net I am looking forward to the passion and exciting plays when they play each other," Anderson said.