By Tay Jun Wen/Red Sports
Presbyterian High School, Wednesday, March 13, 2013 – The final day of Round 1 at the National B Division Boys’ Volleyball Championship saw zonal champions Yishun Town Secondary, Dunman Secondary, Shuqun Secondary and Catholic High advancing to Round 2. Joining them are Saint Hilda’s Secondary, Punggol Secondary, Xinmin Secondary and Bukit Panjang Government High.
In Group A, Xinmin had their third consecutive win when they beat West Zone champions, Shuqun, 2–0 (28–26, 25–13). Previously, Xinmin had defeated Ang Mo Kio Secondary 2–0 (25–14, 25–22) and Victoria School 2–0 (25–18, 25–19).
Xinmin Secondary’s captain, Leung Lok Heng (#18) said: “We played better today than previous matches and we tightened many aspects. This win is a stepping stone for us as we lost in the North Zone final. We have potential to do a lot better and we aim to go as far as we can in this competition.”
Lok Heng added that Shuqun played a good game today.
This was Shuqun’s first loss, after earlier wins over Victoria School 2–0 (25–15, 25–15) and Ang Mo Kio 2–0 (25–7, 25–10). Xinmin finished top of Group A while Shuqun were second.
Group B saw East Zone champions, Dunman, topping their group by defeating Hwa Chong Institution 2–0 (25–22, 25–17). Dunman had earlier defeated Zhonghua Secondary 2–0 (25–9, 25–13) and Punggol Secondary 2–0 (25–23, 25–16).
Liew Jun Wan (#12), captain of Dunman, said: “We could have played better. Though our aim is to win the competition, we need to improve. If we were to continue playing like today, our chances of winning are slim.”
Dunman finished third in last year’s national championship.
Punggol finished second in the group behind Dunman. Needing a win against Zhonghua Secondary in their final group game to secure their place in Round 2, they came through with a 2–0 (25–13, 25–17) win.
Punggol’s captain, Nigel Keh Chen Hao (#18), said: “It was a bad game for us and we had low morale when we lost three to four points consecutively. We had to win this.”
Nigel also added that Punggol’s aim is to reach the top four in the competition.
In Group C, St. Hilda’s emerged top of the group. They beat Clementi Town Secondary 2–1 (22–25, 25–14, 25–19) and another win with a 2–0 (25–9, 25–4) victory over Anderson. Their final win came against Catholic High in a 2–0 (25–9, 25–22) victory.
South Zone champions, Catholic High, finished second in the group behind St. Hilda’s. They beat Anderson Secondary 2–0 (25–11, 25–10) and Clementi Town 2–1 (15–25, 25–22, 25–18).
Group D was topped by North Zone champions, Yishun Town, who beat Geylang Methodist School 2–1 (25–10, 25–27, 25–16) and Bukit Panjang Government High 2–1 (25–10, 24–26, 25–22). Their final Round 1 victory came when they defeated Fairfield Methodist School 2–0 (27–25, 25–15).
Yishun Town Secondary’s captain, Jonathan Ang (#9), said: “We did not start well today and the morale was low. I hope my team realised that today was a crucial game.”
Jonathan commented that since they are top of their group, they will be facing two teams who are second in their groups and only one team that finished first in Round 1.
“If we are able to defeat the teams who were second in their groups, we would most probably be advancing into the semi-finals. We aim to go as far as we can,” said Jonathan.
Bukit Panjang Government High beat Fairfield Methodist 2–0 (25–21, 25–23) and Geylang Methodist School 2–0 (25–19, 25–22) but their 1-2 loss to Yishun Town meant they finished second behind Yishun Town.
Chua Yi Zhe (#5), Bukit Panjang Government High’s captain, said: “We played relatively well today. We had good blocking and first balls. Our spiking was not so well done though. Reaching the semi-finals is our goal.”
This is the first time that Bukit Panjang have advanced into Round 2 of the national championship.
The groupings for Round 2 will see Yishun Town, St. Hilda’s, Punggol and Shuqun in Group X while Dunman, Xinmin, Bukit Panjang Government High and Catholic High make up Group Y.
The first round of Round 2 games will commence on March 26. All games will be held at Presbyterian High School.
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