Lessard and Martin win bronze at four-team exhibition tournament in Mexico

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico - Marie-Andrée Lessard of Ville LaSalle, Que., and Annie Martin of Sherbrooke, Que., won the third place match on Sunday at a four-team women’s beach volleyball exhibition tournament to celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence.

Mexicans Bibi Candelas and Mayra Garcia upset world champions Jennifer Kessy and April Ross of the U.S., in the championship final 21-17, 20-22, 19-17.

The Canadians won their last match 21-16, 21-13 over Yarleen Santiago and Dariam Acevedo of Puerto Rico. Lessard and Martin opened the tournament dropping two close matches, first to the Americans 21-19, 15-21, 15-11 then to the Mexicans 18-21, 21-17, 15-12.

“We are pleased with our performance in our first event this year,” the pair wrote on their website http://www.lessardmartin.com/. “These high quality matches early in the season will help us target our training in preparation for the full international season.”

Lessard and Marin also mentioned there were many Canadians vacationing in the area who came out to support them at the matches.

Ranked 23rd internartionally, Lessard and Martin earned three ninth place finishes on the World Tour circuit last year, the first full season together, including one at the final stop in Thailand.

The pair return home Tuesday.