GALLERY: Stowmarket’s Chilton Fields hosts volleyball event
LONDON-based team JMSE took the Division One title at Suffolk Volleyball Association’s fourth annual Suffolk Open Tournament, at Chilton Fields in Stowmarket.
A total of 21 teams took part in the event, including Stowmarket, who lost to the Londoners in the final, Norfolk team, Pegasus, and Brentwood.
In the Division One final, five teams competed in the round-robin stage, which Stowmarket won without dropping a set. They were then joined in the final by JMSE.
With Stowmarket’s side weakened, JMSE took the first set 25-18. The second set was closer at 24-22 and JMSE reached match-point.
Stowmarket’s Kevin Kent put up a strong block against a JMSE attack, but the ball went sideways, along the top of the net and dropped out, giving JMSE the second set 25-22 and therefore the tournament victory.
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Sixteen teams competed in a ladder-style tournament for Division Two. After the first two rounds, neither Tatapool of Cranfield University nor Kiss my Ace from Brentwood had dropped a set, whilst last year’s champions Pegasus were hot on their heals having won three sets out of four.
At the end of the ladder-phase, these three teams were also at the top of the table, with Pegasus grabbing second place to qualify for the final in the fifth and final round.
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Just behind Kiss my Ace were Ipswich VC’s Badgers. Three more Ipswich VC teams were difficult to separate in ninth, tenth and 11th, with Bury St Edmund’s Jones VB in 12th and Stowmarket Stingers in 14th.
Having only dropped only one set all day and beaten Pegasus 2-0 earlier, Tatapool went into the final as favourites, however it was Pegasus who took the first set 15-14. Tatapool recovered to take the second set 15-12 to win the division on points.
SVA Chairman Andrew Whitefield said after the event: “The strong wind at the start of the day made it difficult for teams to play well, but it died down and the later matches were played in excellent conditions.
“It was pleasing to see so many teams from previous years, some for the fourth time and many told me that they hope to return next year.”
The teams now look forward to further tournaments in Lowestoft, Brentwood and Cambridge over the course of the summer.
There will be an opportunity to try out volleyball in the Community Village in Christchurch Park when the Olympic flame reaches Ipswich on Thursday July 5.
Also, many of the clubs welcome new members at regular outdoor sessions throughout the summer; Ipswich VC play at Copleston High School on Thursday evenings and in Christchurch Park most Sunday afternoons.
Stowmarket and Stow Stingers combine forces and play on The Recreation Ground on Tuesday evenings. More details about all the clubs can be found via their websites and Facebook pages. Links to all of the Suffolk clubs’ websites can be found at www.suffolkvolleyball.org.uk.