Lessard and Martin remain in contention at FIVB beach volleyball World Tour

MARSEILLES, France- Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., and Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., earned a victory and a loss Wednesday in women’s main draw play at the ninth stop on the beach volleyball World Tour circuit.

Lessard and Martin, seeded 20th, opened the tournament with a victory over Emilia Nystrom and Erika Nystrom of Finland 14-21, 21-18, 15-10. Then the Canadians fell to fourth-seeded Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, who have won two tournaments this year, 21-11, 21-14.

“We should be able to play better than that against them,” said Martin about the match against the Americans. “But they put a lot of pressure on you with their services and that makes it hard to score points. In the first match (against the Finns) we controlled the ball much better in the last two sets.”

The tournament is a double elimination which means the Canadians can’t afford to lose another match. They face 30th seed Germans Rieke Brink-Abeler and Angelina Grun on Thursday.

Men’s qualifying got underway on Wednesday. Canadians Ben Saxton of Calgary and Steve Marshall of Abbotsford, B.C., won their opening match but lost their second and were eliminated.

Christian Redmann and Richard Van Huizen of Toronto are pre-qualified for the men’s main draw which starts Thursday.

Full results at: http://www.fivb.org/EN/BeachVolleyball/Competitions/WorldTour/2010/Event/Results.asp?TournCode=WMRS2010&Phase=1