Play-off defeat for volleyballers
PUBLISHED: 13:12 29 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:01 03 March 2010
VOLLEYBALL: The Suffolk volleyball team finished fourth in the national inter-area championships after narrowly losing against Merseyside in the play-off for third place in Leeds.
THE Suffolk volleyball team finished fourth in the national inter-area championships after narrowly losing against Merseyside in the play-off for third place in Leeds.
The two-day competition saw evenly matched sides from all over England participating.
Suffolk qualified for the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Berkshire. The Suffolk side clawed their way back after a poor start saw them 4-11 down in just a few minutes.
Several powerful blocks from Italian setter Corliano and accurate serving by the experienced John Raffel allowed Suffolk to narrow the gap to 19-21, before Dan Elliston scored well with a run of smashes from the wing position.
Suffolk started slowly against North Yorkshire in the quarter-final before libero Symon Rose steadied the side with a sequence of accurate first passes. This allowed Watson, Taylor and Corliano to find their hitters with increasing consistency.
Elliston, Fullenger and captain Moody in turn began to punch holes in the stubborn Yorkshire defence. An impressive second set allowed Suffolk to regain their confidence and run out winners in straight sets.
Suffolk rarely played at their best on the second day, going down 2-0 to London in the first semi-final and then collapsing in their final game of the tournament against a modest Merseyside team who they should have beaten.
It is the third season in succession that Suffolk have finished just outside of the top three places – something the whole squad will be determined to improve on next year.
For two players the tournament proved a watershed in their volleyball careers.
After 15 years of National League and representative volleyball, Dave Taylor has decided to retire.
Several fine matches in the setting role at Leeds was a fitting way to bring down the curtain on a wonderful playing career, in which he has served club and county so well.
For Symon Rose the excellent performance at libero showed how much he has to offer in the defensive specialist role.
It remains to be seen whether he will revert to his preferred position for his club next season.
Suffolk: Ames, Corliano, Elliston, Fullenger, Moody, Peagram, Raffle, Rose, Taylor, Watson, Woods.
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