The Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament celebrated 25 years of the annual volleyball extravaganza which has grown to be the largest in the United Kingdom. This year 108 teams entered the tournament with players coming from a range of countries including U.S.A., Poland, Germany, Holland and Italy. The weather too was kind to the competitors who enjoyed a cool calm Saturday and a warmer windy Sunday making it the driest tournament for a number of years.
The division of honour teams playing indoors at Bell’s Sports Centre had a full weekend of games with the U.S.A. Athletes and Scottish League Champions Troon reaching the women’s final. Dundee reached the men’s finals pipping Team Fife at the semi-final stage to meet ZAL Poland on Bell’s centre court.
For Troon it was their fourth consecutive final and they were determined to finish on the winning side after three losses. The U.S.A. Athletes’ side had already lost to Troon in the opening round of fixtures on Saturday but had battled well to reach the final with improved performances on the Sunday. It was the Scottish champions who eased ahead in the first set with the Americans always chasing the game. The 25-17 scoreline in Troon’s favour showed that the Americans would have to up their game if they stood any chance of lifting the championship trophy. It was a close fought second set poised at 24 points each before the Troon lasses edged the two vital points to give them the Scottish Open Championship for the first time.
The men’s division of honour final featured ZAL Poland and Dundee with Perth players Iain Cook and Douglas Crockart in the Dundee ranks. The game started with ZAL Poland in fine form being cheered on by a vociferous local support. ZAL had a fairly comfortable first set win by 25 points to 17 and although Dundee did all they could it wasn’t enough and ZAL won the second set 25-20 to become the Scottish Open champions for 2009.
The men’s division one competition on the outdoor courts was a close thing with Polonia Jets just edging out Craig Donaldson’s local side Kinross Scotrange into second place. Dodgy Servers from Perth won the consolation competition.
In men’s division two it was Edinburgh side Nuvoc XXXL who finished as champions defeating the Croatian All-Stars in an exciting final which finished 25-16; 30-28. Northumbrian side Tynedale Wentworth finished as consolation winners of men’s division two.
Women’s division one winners were Wonton Women who defeated The Devil Wears Prada 25-22; 25-21. In the women’s consolation competition it was Dolly Mixtures who defeated two north east England sides Hebburn and Tynedale ladies to secure victory.
In the popular mixed sections of the competition the Alcopops defeated the Littlest Hoboes 25-23; 19-25; 15-12 with Glasgow University taking the consolation trophy. In the other mixed section Irmabel beat the Team with No Name with Been and Gone taking the consolation trophy. This year’s best dressed team was Dig This.
All in all it was a superb weekend of volleyball with each team to be congratulated for again making it all possible through their continued support over the many years. It was also fitting that a small civic reception was hosted by Perth & Kinross Council prior to the indoor finals as a gesture of thanks to existing and previous members of the volunteer committee which does a wonderful job in organising and running the tournament. Councillor Willie Wilson presented Tournament Director Dave Munro with a skean dhu to celebrate 25 years of the Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament.
Thanks also due to Sportset for the Mikasa ball sponsorship, Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky and St Johnstone Football Club.