Claire (Cedar #2) spikes as the St Hilda’s #4 blocks. (Photo 1 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
Presbyterian High, Thursday, February 28, 2012 — South Zone champions Cedar Girls’ Secondary had to endure a gruelling three-set match against St Hilda’s Secondary before winning 2-1 (25-16, 19-26, 25-22) at the National B Division Girls’ Volleyball Championship.
Cedar overcame a shaky start in the first set before going on to take the set. They scored from nine blocks alone in the first set, limiting their opponents to just three kills.
St Hilda’s came fighting back in the second set and, though they still trailed Cedar in the number of kills, managed to snatch the second set as Cedar were made to pay for their hitting errors.
The third set was a fight to the finish as both teams tried to edge each other out. Claudia (Cedar #18) managed to overcome her poor form in the second set to take several points in the set. Together with Claire (Cedar #2), they managed to edge out St Hilda’s to notch their first win at the Nationals.
Cedar scored a total of 41 points from 26 kills, 11 blocks and four service aces. St Hilda’s on the other hand had 24 points from 15 kills, four blocks, and five service aces. Claire (Cedar #2) topped the scoring tally with 13 points scored via nine kills, three blocks, and one service ace. Claudia (Cedar #18) was just one point behind and managed 12 points via nine kills and three blocks.
Despite performing better based on statistics, Cedar did not have the best of starts as they saw St Hilda’s run off to lead 4-0. Errors in their play allowed St Hilda’s to pull further ahead, with a timeout at the 8-3 mark being called in a bid to reorganise.
Cedar managed to stage a comeback and were level 10-10 after a service ace by Gu Ting (Cedar #6). Two successive blocks by Claudia (Cedar #18) then saw Cedar take the lead from St Hilda’s.
Cedar continued to put up some fine blocking and eventually led 22-12, prompting a timeout from St Hilda’s. As St Hilda’s continued to have problems in their defense and first-balls, Cedar kept up pressure and quickly sealed the set 25-16.
The second set saw a closer start with Cedar holding on to a narrow lead. However, the score eventually stood 11-11 after an unforced error by Cedar. St Hilda’s then turned the tables on Cedar and went ahead to lead 19-14.
Despite Cedar managing to close in to trail by just two points, St Hilda’s managed to break free again. Cedar promptly called a timeout at the 22-18 mark, but Claudia (Cedar #18) and Claire (#2) both contacted the net while spiking in the next two rallies to see St Hilda’s lead 24-18.
St Hilda’s committed an error at the next rally, but subsequently sealed the set 25-19 after Cedar sent their serve out of bounds.
The third set was a very close encounter as both teams were neck and neck. Despite Cedar leading 13-9 at the changeover, St Hilda’s clawed their way back to lead 14-13. Cedar managed to level, but quickly saw St Hilda’s pull ahead again to lead 18-14.
With Claire (Cedar #2) suddenly scoring several points from the outside, Cedar quickly managed to pull back to level the score. The match continued to be tied at the 18-point, 19-point and 20-point mark, and with changes made to the Cedar line-up, subset Gu Ting (Cedar #6) found herself playing the the open spiker role.
This change helped shake things up and Cedar pulled ahead to lead at this crucial moment. A spike by Gu Ting (Cedar #6) took Cedar to match point. However, Hui Qi (Cedar #13) sent her serve into the net to see the score stand 24-22.
Thankfully, Claudia (Cedar #18) sealed the match for the team as she sent her spike from the opposite corner into an empty spot for Cedar triumph.
Cedar 2 St Hilda’s 1
5-16, 19-26, 25-22
Claudia (Cedar #18) blocks. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
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