Lessard and Martin launch 2010 beach season in Mexico

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., and Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., look to start the 2010 season as strong as they finished the 2009 campaign this weekend at a four-team women’s beach volleyball exhibition ournament to celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence.

FIVB 2009 world champions April Ross and Jennifer Kess of the U.S., headline the tournament which offeres $10,000 in cash prizes. The other teams entered are Bibi Candelas and Mayra Garcia of Mexico and Yarleen Santiago and Dariam Acevedo representing Puerto Rico.

The Canadians, ranked 23rd internartionally, earned three ninth place finishes on the World Tour circuit last year, the first full year together, including one at the final stop in Thailand.

‘’We are looking forward to training outdoors again,’’ the pair wrote on their website - http://www.lessardmartin.com/ . ‘’We hope we can adapt to the conditions because this is a very strong tournament.’’