Jeremy (St Hilda’s #12) spikes as Sin Hau (Shuqun #11) and Zhi Feng (#12) block. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Tuesday, April 3, 2012 — Shuqun Secondary won their first ever title after beating five-time defending champions St Hilda’s Secondary in a massive battle in the final of the B Division Boys’ Volleyball Championship. Shuqun won the five-set thriller 3-2 (25-23, 34-32, 18-25, 19-25, 15-12).
Since 2001, Shuqun have made it to the final four times but missed out on the title each time. This year, they had been been handed tough draws, especially in the second round, where they faced Punggol Secondary and St Hilda’s. However, they managed to overcome their opponents on both occasions, and caped off their unbeaten run with a victory at the final.
Shuqun dominated the kill tally as they scored 71 kills compared to St Hilda’s 46 kills. Shuqun finished with a total of 82 points, scoring nine blocks and two service aces in addition to their kills. St Hilda’s scored 67 points, with an additional 16 blocks and five service aces.
Royston (St Hilda’s #3) was the match top scorer with 23 points scored from 20 kills, two blocks and one service ace. Notably, he managed to keep a clean sheet as he did not commit any hit errors during the match. Despite St Hilda’s having the top scorer, the second, third and fourth highest scorers were from Shuqun, with subset Alvin (Shuqun #3) taking top scorer for the team with 22 points from 20 kills and two blocks. Renz (Shuqun #1) was next with 19 points from 15 kills and four blocks.
Haziq (Shuqun #10), who traditionally would top the scoring tally, found himself in a tight spot this time round as St Hilda’s blockers sought to hold off his attacks. However, he still managed to score 17 points from 16 kills and one service ace.
St Hilda’s started the match on a good note as they raced off to a 10-6 lead. A timeout by Shuqun at this point could not stop St Hilda’s advance as they pulled ahead to lead 17-8, prompting another timeout from Shuqun.
It seemed like a lost cause for Shuqun but they pulled off a miraculous comeback. Shuqun clawed their way back from nine points down to eventually level the score 21-21. Shuqun put up 19 kills in this set, with setter Sin Hau participating in the scoring with five kills on his own.
St Hilda’s then lost their lead after an error from Derek (St Hilda’s #10). St Hilda’s managed to take the next point but saw Shuqun take the lead again after Alvin (Shuqun #3) forced a touch out from the St Hilda’s block. Renz (Shuqun #1) then took set point for the team after a similar feat but the team was held off momentarily after a service error by Alvin (Shuqun #3) saw the score stand 24-23. It was a tense moment before Renz (Shuqun #1) secured the final point with a spike from the outside.
The second set was a tight encounter. The teams were neck and neck with Shuqun holding on the advantage. The score was eventually tied 21-21, before St Hilda’s pulled ahead to lead 23-21. Shuqun managed to level back but St Hilda’s took set point after a quick ball from Jeremy (St Hilda’s #12). Sin Hau (Shuqun #11) saved the set point after a drop shot before Haziq (Shuqun #10) forced the set into a deuce with a spike down the St Hilda’s block.
Sin Hau (Shuqun #11) then turned the tables after a service ace but Haziq (Shuqun #10) saw another of his attempt blocked to see the score stand at 25-25. Both teams put up spectacular play as they fought hard to keep each other at bay. The set continued on into its ninth deuce to see the score 32-32.
Shuqun were given the advantage when Royston (St Hilda’s #3) was fouled for an illegal attack from the back row. This time round, Shuqun sealed the set to emphatic celebration as Alvin (Shuqun #3) lightly tapped the ball into an empty spot, securing the set 34-32.
Shuqun experienced a sudden drop in form in the third set as they let St Hilda’s pull ahead to lead. Timeouts by Shuqun at the 7-3 and 15-9 mark were unable to stop St Hilda’s scoring streak and the latter took the set 25-18.
Having won a set certainly eased the pressure on St Hilda’s as they continued their winning streak in the fourth set. Despite trailing 5-2 at the start, they turned the tables on Shuqun and pulled ahead to establish a commanding lead. Shuqun were stuck at the 13-point and 14-point marks as St Hilda’s blitzed ahead to eventually lead 23-14.
This time, it was St Hilda’s who saw themselves held at bay as Shuqun scored four consecutive points to force St Hilda’s to call a timeout at the 23-18 mark. Upon the restart, St Hilda’s took set point with a drop shot before eventually sealing the set 25-19.
Both teams unleashed all that they had in the fifth set as they each tried to outdo the other. The score was tied point for point, with Shuqun leading 8-7 at the changeover. However, Shuqun suffered a blow when open spiker Haziq (Shuqun #10) had to be substituted out after going down with cramps.
Shuqun allowed St Hilda’s to level back 8-8 after Zhi Feng (#12) served out of bounds but they took the lead again via a drop shot by Li Tek (Shuqun #8). Shuqun were then leading 10-8 after good blocking by Li Tek (Shuqun #8), prompting a timeout from St Hilda’s.
Despite their valiant efforts, St Hilda’s were unable to overcome the deficit and saw the score gap increase as Shuqun pulled ahead to lead 14-10. However, Shuqun could not take the last point as Alvin (Shuqun #3) spiked out of bounds before being blocked to see the score stand 14-12.
Shuqun promptly called for a timeout in a bid to stop St Hilda’s advances. In the subsequent rally, Renz (Shuqun #1) powered a spike straight at the St Hilda’s libero. Patrick (St Hilda’s #8) managed to receive but the ball went up high. It seemed like time was at a standstill as everyone’s eyes were on the ball, and when it contacted the ceiling for an ‘out of bounds’ call, it was Shuqun who erupted into celebration as they take home the title.
Shuqun 3 St Hilda’s 2
25-23, 34-32, 18-25, 19-25, 15-12
Shuqun Team Roster
Mendoza Renz Matthew (#1), Ding Cong Jian (#2), Alvin Yeo Jie Xuan (#3), Chang Chun-Chuan (#4), Chase Tan Si Ying (#7, Libero), Tan Li Tek (#8, Captain), Lim How Wei (#9), Mohd Haziq B Abu Bakar (#10), Eng Sin Hau (#11), Pang Zhi Feng (#12), Neo Wei Cheng (#13), Mohd Fadhli B Yusri (#17, Libero)
St Hilda’s Team Roster
Lim Chuan Zhi Darius (#1), Lim Wei Siang Jonathan (#2), Ho Zhe Wei Royston (#3), Bryan Choo Jun Wei (#4, Captain), Javin Khoo Jiexiong (#5), Ho Lien Hong Justin (#6), Josiah Ping Jia Jun (#7), Patrick Gan Wei Kiat (#8, Libero), Kenneth Xu Jun Zhi (#9), Derek Chew Yong Cheng (#10), Adriel Tan Wen Zheng (#11), Jeremy Tay Jin Kong (#12)
Shuqun vs St Hilda's - Match Statistics
Points scored (Total)
|Shuqun Team Totals||82||71||28||9||7||2||9||19||12|
|Sin Hau (#11)||10||8||2||1||4||1||1||1||1|
|Li Tek (#8)||5||5||1||0||1||0||2||0||2|
|Zhi Feng (#12)||9||7||0||2||2||0||3||1||2|
|Wei Cheng (#13)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Chase (#7, Libero)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||2||0|
|St Hilda's Team Totals||67||46||18||16||15||5||4||17||6|
|Patrick (#8, Libero)||1||1||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||7||0|
Josiah (St Hilda’s #7) goes for a quick ball. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
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