By Zachary Foo/Red Sports
Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall, Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — St Hilda’s Secondary (SHS) clinched the National C Division Boys’ Volleyball title with a 3–2 (25–23, 24–26, 25–21, 20–25, 15–12) win over Catholic High (CHS).
The first set was a close affair, as both teams were neck and neck in scoring. St. Hilda’s strategy of using quick sets threw off Catholic High’s rhythm. This allowed them to net a lot of points off tip spikes.
The duo of Matthew Ang (SHS #14) and Tristan Ang (SHS #7) were solid at the net when it came to blocking. They proved to be the deciding factor in the set, as they were able to throw off Clive Ling’s (CHS #13) spiking accuracy. The most telling evidence came at set point, when Clive (CHS #13) missed his spike to hand the set to St. Hilda’s, 25–22.
St Hilda’s carried their momentum into the second set, using their quick sets and feints to throw of the Catholic High defence. However, Catholic High fought to remain close in the set. Clive Ling (CHS #13) and Sean Tay (CHS #6) both were industrious at the net, using their spikes to bring their team back into the game.
St Hilda’s found themselves leading 21–17, but Catholic High came back all the way to tie the game at 24–all. A quick set for Wang Liang Bing (CHS #1) to tie the game gave St. Hilda’s a taste of their own medicine. Not letting go of this opportunity, Catholic High took the next two points to tie the game up 1–1.
The third set saw St. Hilda’s cruise easily in the set. There were a lot of unforced errors made by Catholic High, which gifted easy points to St. Hilda’s.
Kelvin Chua (SHS #10) was the main spiker for St. Hilda’s in the quarter, getting a lot of weak returns from Catholic High with his spikes. Matthew Ang then sealed the deal with a block at the net, allowing St. Hilda’s to clinch the third set 25–21.
Catholic High sought to claim the fourth set and their initial 3–0 run showed their intentions. However, St. Hilda’s did well to tie the game up at 4–all through good service by Tristan Ang (SHS #7).
Catholic High allowed St. Hilda’s back into the set due to inconsistent blocking, which the St. Hilda’s spikers exploited for easy scores. A couple of missed spikes by Yan Tianlu (SHS #5) gifted Catholic High a 21–17 lead.
Not wanting the championship to slip from their grasp, the Catholic High team composed themselves to close out the set. Their strategy of setting the ball for Clive Ling paid dividends and they won the fourth set to force a deciding set.
Matthew Ang (SHS #14) drew first blood in the deciding set with an emphatic spike, pumping up his team. Yan Tianlu (SHS #5) made a lot of decisive plays in the set, helping his team to a 10–3 lead. However, Catholic High were not out of it yet. They came back to trail St. Hilda’s 10–14, with St. Hilda’s on championship point.
Catholic High saved the first match point, after Nigel Wee (CHS #5) made an improbable dig on a spike that looked to have sealed the game for St. Hilda’s. They then saved the second match point on a missed spike by St. Hilda’s.
The momentum seemed to have shifted in favour of Catholic High. However, St. Hilda’s kept their composure, killing of the last play and sealing their national championship with a 15–12 win in the final set.
St. Hilda’s captain, Yan Tianlu (#5), said, “I think we worked hard and deserved the win. We trained hard and we saw our hard work paid off. We were determined to get back each time we trailed, that is how we won the game. We hope to repeat as champions in the B Division.”
Scoring by Set
Catholic High vs St. Hilda’s Secondary
First set: 23–25 (0–1)
Second set: 26–24 (1–1)
Third set: 21–25 (1–2)
Fourth set: 25–20 (2–2)
Fifth set: 12–15 (2–3)
Catholic High Roster
Wang Liang Bing (#1), Joel Oh Kai Shun Hiroyuki (#2), Deng Jiayao (#3), Leong Yew Kit (#4), Wee Song Ming Nigel (#5), Sean Tay Swee Sheng (#6), Dai Xinlong (#7), Lee Ying Long Xavier (#8), Lee Zi Bin (#9), Hoi Cheng Yen Daryl (#10), Clement Wong Jing Liang (#11), Ho Juay Xuan (#12), Ling Chieh Shyan Clive (#13), Manfred Fong Yong Jie (#14)
St. Hilda’s Secondary Roster
Tommy Tan (#1), Yeo Dong En (#2), Javons Cheah (#3), Sean Lee (#4), Yan Tianlu (#5), Gavin Goh (#6), Tristan Ang (#7), Corbin Ho (#8), Jannen Ho (#9), Kelvin Chua (#10), Bradley Tan (#11), Fabian Ong (#12), Keith Tay (#13), Matthew Ang (#14)
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