Story by reader VB Fan
Hougang Sports Hall, Sunday, November 27, 2011 — As the lazy Sunday morning unrolled, so did the volleyball action played out at Hougang Sports Hall. The day featured the quarter-finals for the National Under-16 Volleyball Championships for boys and girls. This has been an eventful tournament, with traditionally strong teams like Xinmin and Jurong Secondary bowing out in the previous round, after registering convincing wins in the preliminary round. It is clear that with the new knockout format, anything is possible.
The first boys’ quarter-final of the day saw Clementi Town and Shuqun Secondary squaring off. Unfortunately, the match proofed uneventful, with both teams attacking cautiously with careful placement. Eventually, Clementi Town prevailed with a close 2-0 victory. However, one wonders whether this was Shuqun’s best team.
The next match pitted two teams from Punggol against each other. Punggol (N), comprising mostly second stringers, exceeded all expectations by knocking out Xinmin in the round of 16. However, they appeared out of sorts and played out a quick loss 0-2 to their main team, Punggol (M).
The exciting match up of the day had to be that of St Hilda’s going up against Dunman Secondary. The first set was a tight affair, with both teams trading spike for spike initially. Dunman, in particular, stuffed out many hard hits by the St Hilda’s spikers with their imposing blocking height. St Hilda’s numerous attacking errors did not help their cause as well. Dunman subsequently took the 1st set.
The 2nd set saw Dunman playing catch-up. However, a titanic fightback saw them eventually close out the game 2-0, sealing their place in the semi-finals, and knocking out the reigning B Division champions in the process.
Kudos to both teams for playing out a truly entertaining game of volleyball.
The final quarter-final match was played out between Yishun Town Secondary and Chong Boon Secondary. The Chong Boon team has been a real surprise this year, knocking out reigning C Division boys’ champions Bukit Panjang Government High comfortably in the round of 16.
The match started out close, with both teams trading blow for blow. However, the first set was taken by Chong Boon who prevailed with a strong blocking and a more powerful attacking game overall. The second set was scrappy, with both teams making numerous attacking errors. Chong Boon eked out a close 26-24 victory with good blocking in the final points, qualifying for the top four against a team with a far more illustrious volleyball history.
The semi-finals will be played on Tuesday, November 29th, 8.30am onwards at Hougang Sports Hall.
Clementi Town vs Punggol (8.30am)
Dunman vs Chong Boon (9.15am)
Ngee Ann vs Xinmin (8.30am)
Dunman vs Bukit Panjang Govt High