The Stanmore Jafferys volleyball team (SJVB) suffered an agonising semi-final defeat against the eventual champions at a tournament held in Orlando over the New Year weekend.
The format of the 17-team round-robin Tournament of Champions meant every game was critical, and the pressure left SJVB with early losses to Minnesota and New York Union.
Despite this slow start, SJVB went on to lose only one more game in the round-robin stage, qualifying for the quarter finals by finishing in 5th place with wins over Orlando A and United Stars.
The final day of the tournament, on January 1, saw SJVB breeze through their quarter-final tie against New York Union, setting up a tie against Orlando A.
Despite a hard fight from SJVB, Orlando held the result and won the first game.
The second game of the tie started with Orlando taking the lead, and despite SJVB’s best efforts, Orlando held firm and took the second game to make the final.
Although the result will be disappointing, another top-four result for SJVB is a marker of the progress they have made in recent years.