ALTHOUGH it only attracted a small number of teams, the 9th Penang Open Volleyball championship at the Penang Youth and Sports Department courts in Batu Uban, Penang, surprisingly still had much to offer.
The players gave Penang fans an entertaining time with their fighting spirit in the recent three-day event, which attracted eight teams in the Men’s Open challenge and six teams in the Women’s Open challenge.
The Women’s final showdown between two Kuala Lumpur oufits – Tian Siang Group and City Rangers Volleyball Club – was a closely fought encounter which kept the volleyball fans at the edge of their seats.
The Tian Siang outfit, which featured many former state players, proved to be a cut above the City Rangers, cruising to a 2-0 lead by taking the first set 25-13 before following up with a hard-earned 28-26 win in the second.
A highly determined City Rangers pulled one back to narrow the deficit to 2-1 when they won the third game 25-21.
The fourth set went down the wire, with Tian Siang emerging the eventual winner with a score of 27-25.
The 3-1 win, which enabled them to engrave their name on to the Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew challenge trophy, also came with a RM1,500 prize money.
The battle for third place in the Women’s challenge also proved to be equally exciting, despite it being an all-Penang affair.
Volleyball Penang Management edged Alor Vista 27-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20 to win the match.
Johor’s Segamat Kesas Volleyball Club enjoyed an easier final outing in the Men’s challenge by beating Kuala Lumpur’s Help University in straight games of 25-18, 25-17, 25-22. They won RM2,000.
Pirates Volleyball Club, another Kuala Lumpur outfit, took third spot by defeating Perak’s Firestone Volleyball Club 25-20, 25-20, 25-23.
Penang Volleball Association secretary Amy Loh said the low turnout for the event could be due to the Malaysian Government Volleyball Championship, which was held at the same time.