Canadian teams get their feet wet on 2011 beach volleyball tour

BRASILIACanada’s three teams at the opening stop on the $190,000 FIVB World Tour in beach volleyball didn’t get past the qualifying round on Tuesday.

In men’s competition, Maverick Hatch of Comox, B.C., (in red in photo)and Sam Schachter of Toronto, in their World Tour debut together, opened Tuesday’s qualifying round defeating Daniel Hupfer and Helmut Moser of Austria 21-13, 21-13. But they were eliminated in the second round falling to Stefan Gunnarsson and Hannes Brinkborg of Sweden 21-19, 21-13.

Josh Binstock and Richard Van Huizen, both of Toronto, had a first round bye then lost to Marco Grimalt and Esteban Grimalt of Chile 21-18, 21-18.

In women’s qualifying, Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Kacie MacTavish of Sharon, Ont., lost their opening match in qualifying to Priscilla Lese Lima and Angela Vieira of Brazil 21-12, 21-19.

‘’It wasn’t easy,’’ Rodrigue said. ‘’The Brazilians are very strong. But this was only our second tournament together and it was encouraging to see that we could keep pace with them.’’

The second stop on the circuit for the women is next week in Sanya, China while the men and women compete together again the following week in Shanghai.