Story and Pictures by Red Crew volunteer Ng Cheng Cong
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Friday, April 11, 2008 – St Hilda's Secondary claimed the championship title once again after beating Shuqun Secondary 3-1 in the National B Division Boys Volleyball Championship Final.
Toa Payoh Sports hall was filled to the brim as volleyball fanatics gathered to cheer on their favourite team in the final. The atmosphere was just great! The last time these two teams met, Shuqun had beaten St. Hilda’s in a National Championship quarter-final encounter. St. Hilda’s in turn had beaten Shuqun in the 2007 National U-16 Volleyball Championship final and so there was little to separate the two teams. St. Hilda’s had to beat group X champions Catholic High in the semi-final to set up this match against Shuqun.
Shuqun and St Hilda's both started the first set strongly with both not wanting to lose any advantage in the game. However Shuqun looked more composed and made less unforced errors to take home the first set.
The second set was an intense affair as both teams kept it close. Late into the second match, the two teams were tied 28-28, moving together to 30-30. Finally, with the thunderous spikes from St Hilda's, they finally broke through to take the second set 32-30 to even the score up at 1-1.
Shuqun looked disappointed as they gathered for their team talk. Into the third set, St Hilda's seemed to have one more extra player on the court as their school supporters cheered at the top of their lungs. The players performed particularly well, sending down shock waves of attacks that shook Shuqun’s defense. It was no surprise that St Hilda’s wrapped up the third set 25-16 to move 2-1 ahead.
The fourth set was make or break time for both teams. If St Hilda's were to win this set, they would take home the championship title for the second year running. If Shuqun were to make a comeback to win the set and level the score at 2-2, the game would go into a dramatic rubber set. The score was neck and neck until Shuqun made a couple of unforced errors. This allowed St Hilda's to take a crucial lead at 24-23 and move to championship point.
They put in their utmost concentration to defend every attack coming in from Shuqun and finally got a chance to finish the game by winning the set 25-23.
St. Hilda’s 3 Shuqun 1
Set 1: 25-27
Set 2: 32-30
Set 3: 25-16
Set 4: 25-23
More photos next page