Canadian women eliminated in qualifying at beach volleyball World Tour opener

BRASILIA, Brazil – Canada’s three entries in the women’s qualifying for the main draw of this week’s season opening event on the beach volleyball World Tour circuit were eliminated on Tuesday

Julie Rodrigue of Quebec City and Kara Zakrzewski of Mississauga, Ont., coming off a victory on the NORCECA (North and Central America) circuit two weekends ago, advanced to third and final round of qualifying before falling to Madelein Meppelink and Maloes Wesselink of the Netherlands 21-17, 21-9.

Rodrigue and Zakrzewski had a first round bye then defeated Camilla Nillson and Tora Hansson of Sweden 21-16, 21-16 in their second round match.

“The Dutch were seeded second in qualifying so we knew they would be tough,” said Rodrigue. “The first game went very well and we kept pace with them. The second set didn’t go so well as the score reflects. There’s always a bit more pressure in qualifying because you really want to play a second day. So it’s a bit disappointing for us.”

Canada’s other two entries also had first round byes but lost their second round matches to German pairs.

Rebecca Moskowitz of Toronto and Eve Marie Dansereau-Laberge of Verdun, Que., lost to Chantal Laboureur and Claudia Lehmann 21-9, 21-12 while Kristina Valjas and Anastasia Danilova of Toronto fell to Jana Kohler and Julia Sude 22-20, 21-13.

Men’s qualifying gets underway Wednesday. On court for Canada are Jesse Lelliott of Kelowna, B.C., and Ben Saxton of Calgary.