Final heartbreak for Stowmarket

STRONG BLOCK: Kevin Kent's efforts on the final point were all in vain as his Stowmarket side lost in the final to JMSE
STRONG BLOCK: Kevin Kent's efforts on the final point were all in vain as his Stowmarket side lost in the final to JMSE
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SUFFOLK Volleyball Association hosted its fourth annual Suffolk Open tournament on Sunday.

Twenty-one teams from across the Eastern Region and beyond travelled to Stowmarket’s Chilton Fields.

In Division One, five teams competed in the round robin stage, which Stowmarket won without dropping a set. They were joined in the final by JMSE of London.

With Stowmarket’s side weakened, JMSE took the first set 25-18. The second set was closer and JMSE reached match point at 24-22.

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 the tournament victory.

In Division Two, Pegasus took the first set of the final 15-14, but Tatapool recovered to take the second set 15-12 to win the division on points.

After the event, SVA chairman Andrew Whitefield said: “The strong wind at the start of the day made it difficult for teams to play well, but the wind 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 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.

Stowmarket and Stow Stingers combine forces and play on the Recreation Ground on Tuesday evenings.