Good start for Canadian teams at FIVB World Tour beach volleyball stop

KRISTIANSAND, Norway - Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., and Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., as well as Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto posted a win and a loss in main draw action on Wednesday to remain in contention at the 13th stop on the beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

Lessard and Martin had a bye to the main draw and opened the tournament with a 21-15, 21-18 victory over Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney of Britain. However they lost their second match to third seeds Chen Xue and Xi Zhang of China 21-17, 21-16.

‘’The Chinese are a team that you can’t let back into the match,’’ said Lessard. ‘’Still we battled hard. Against Britain we had a good match and pressured them with our serve.’’

Bansley and Maloney played the same two teams as their compatriots. They lost their opening match to the Chinese pair 21-13, 21-12 then defeated and eliminated the British pair 21-17, 21-11.

The tournament is a double elimination format, therefore both Canadian teams can’t afford another loss.

Jamie Broder of Victoria and Liz Cordonier of Vancouver, the CIS female athlete of the year for her indoor volleyball exploits at UBC, lost their two main draw matches and were eliminated. 

In men’s qualifying all three Canadian entries did not make the cut. They were Martin Reader of Comox, B.C., and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta.;   Ben Saxton of Calgary and Steve Marshall of Abbotsford and Josh Binstock and Matt Zbyszewski, both of Toronto.