Louis Daignault

April 24, 2013, Fuzhou, China (ISN) – Kristina Valjas of Toronto and Jamie Broder of Victoria advanced to the main draw at the China Open beach volleyball tournament on Wednesday.


They join Heather Bansley and Liz Maloney of Toronto who had a bye to the championship group.

In qualifying, Valjas and Broder defeated Jolien Sinnema and Michelle Stiekema of the Netherlands 18-21, 21-18,15-7. The Canadian have enjoyed a great start to their 2013 season winning season opening event on the NORCECA circuit in the Cayman Islands and placing fifth in the Dominican Republic. Last season they played in seven events on the FIVB World Tour posting two 17th place finishes.

Main draw action starts Thursday. Valjas and Broder will be seeded 26th and in Pool G with teams ranked seventh, 10th and 23rd. Bansley and Maloney are seeded 22nd and in Pool F with teams ranked sixth, 11th and 27th.

Bansley and Maloney enjoyed an excellent 2012 season with two top-10 finishes on the World Tour and already have two top-fives this year on the NORCECA circuit.

In men’s qualifying, all three men’s pairs were eliminated. Josh Binstock and Christian Redmann of Toronto, Maverick Hatch of Comox, B.C., and Sam Schachter of Toronto as well as Ben Saxton of Calgary and Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., did not advance.