Annie Martin and Marie-AndrĂ©e Lessard
Martin and Lessard are Canadaâ€™s only French speaking team, with both players hailing from Quebec, and Canadaâ€™s longest partnership, having played together since 2008. They have a number of notable finishes, with the pinnacle coming right at the beginning of their partnership at only their second event with a 5th place finish at the United Arab Emirates Open in 2008. As one of the smallest teams on the World Tour, they are known for their incredible ball control and never ending tenacity. Domestically, the pair won the 2009 National Championships.
Martin is the only active Canadian athlete that has Olympic experience, having finished 5th in 2004 in Athens with Guylaine Dumont. The University of Sherbrooke alumnus is one of the most decorated Canadian beach athletes with multiple top-10 and top-5 finishes over the course of her career, her highest finish coming in Stavanger, Norway with a 4th place finish in 2004. Annie began her career 10 years ago in 2002, breaking on to the scene with the before mentioned Guylaine Dumont. Domestically, Martin has an incredible 5 National Championships under her belt; three with Guylaine Dumont (2002, 2003, and 2004), one with Kara Zakrezewski (2006) and one with her current partner (2009).
As Canadaâ€™s longest serving beach athlete, having started her career in 1999, Lessard is one of the most respected woman in the sport today. Having a career that spans over a decade, Lessard has amassed many quality results, with almost a dozen top-10 finishes on the World Tour. Her best result came in 2004, when her and her partner Sarah Maxwell won a Challenger event in Cagliari, Italy.Â The McGill University alumnus also has three National Championships under her belt; with Sarah Maxwell (2005 and 2007) and again with Annie Martin in 2009. Marie-AndrĂ©e is also somewhat of a celebrity in her home province of Quebec as she competed and won a circus show where Quebec athletes are pitted against each other in circus demonstrations.
Josh Binstock and Martin Reader
Binstock and Reader are Canadaâ€™s newest team, having only started competing together in the spring of this year. They have quickly pushed their way up the International and Canadian ranks. The year started with a 3rd place finish at NORCECA Cayman Islands, an event that Binstock had won the previous year with then partner, Rich Van Huizen. A 9th place finish at the Myslowice Open in Poland has also highlighted their year.
Martin Reader hails from the Commox Valley in British-Columbia. A former Camosun College Charger and 2004 BCCAA Player of the Year, Martin jumped straight on to the FIVB World Tour in 2005 with Brian Hiebert. Having played with a number of partners, the Courtenay B.C. native attained his best FIVB World Tour result this year with a 9th in Myslowice Poland. Martin has also found success at the National Championships, with a Gold medal performance with Chaim Schalk in 2010.
Josh Binstock is no stranger to success at high levels. Hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Josh has seen results at every level of play. A former Junior National Indoor member, Josh was also the 2001 Canada Games Beach Volleyball silver medalist, as well as a three time 24U National Champion. The former University of Toronto Varsity Blue was also a CIS 1st Team All-Canadian in 2004. Josh also is part of a rare group of back-to-back Senior National Champions, accomplishing the feat with Matt Zbyszewski in 2008 and 2009. Josh started his career in 2003 with Brian Hiebert, with is best result coming this year with a 9th place finish in Myslowice Poland.
Courtesy of Volleyball Canada | Volleyball.ca