Story and photos by Low Zheng Yu/Red Sports
Woodlands Sports Hall, Tuesday, May 9, 2017 — Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) defeated Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) 3-0 in the National A Division Volleyball Championship final to claim the title.
NYJC had defeated ACJC previously to get to the final. NYJC were in the final last year but lost to Victoria Junior College.
HCI beat Anderson Junior College previously to advance to the final.
Both sides came to play. They were exchanging kills but it was NYJC who had the edge, capitalising on the HCI mistakes to pull ahead. While HCI tried to cut the lead, a hard spike from Sie Jie Xiang (NYJC #7) gave NYJC the first set with a score of 25-17.
In the second set, HCI got off to a good start. They were able to find the loopholes to score kills. However, NYJC continued to hustle to stay close. They capitalised on an HCI mistake to gain their first lead in the second set. This boosted the morale of the NYJC players which made HCI panic. This caused HCI to make two more mistakes as NYJC took the 19-16 lead.
Despite that, HCI continued to fight. They played good defense to get blocks and spiked hard whenever there was a chance. Wilson Ng (HCI #9) made two service aces to tie things up at 20. Both schools exchanged kills but it was NYJC who managed to come up on top after a tap kill from Lai Boon Yi (NYJC #9) helped to secure them the second set.
HCI started the third set with good offensive rhythm to get kills from their spikes. However, NYJC remained poise to keep the game tied. John Foo (NYJC #1) of NYJC were able to see the loopholes in the HCI defense to score several spike kills to jump ahead 10-5.
While Clive Ling (HCI #13) tried to will his team back with hard spikes that were beyond receiving, HCI went on a run to cut the lead of NYJC down to four. NYJC called for a timeout to break the momentum of HCI. This worked as NYJC scored three in a row to increase their lead. Despite Clive Ling’s (HCI #13) continuous thunderous spikes, NYJC were ready for him. They played good defense and managed to increase their lead.
At game point, feeling that the championship was almost theirs, the NYJC crowd filled the hall with loud cheers to welcome the next point. To answer to the expectations of the crowd, John Foo (NYJC #1) of NYJC hit a service ace to score the last point for NYJC as they took the third set 25-18.
Captain John Foo (NYJC #1) commented, “I feel our defense was on point today. NYJC got the double champs today and I am just so happy. Even though we come from different secondary schools, we managed to bond and play together as a team. We cheer, play and laugh together as a team. I am just thankful and speechless and simply overjoyed with what we achieved today.”
Scoring by Set
NYJC vs HCI
1st Set: 25-17
2nd Set: 25-23
3rd Set: 25-18
John Foo Ceyong (#1), Ong Wee Kiat, Keith (#2), Toh Zi Yan, Joel (#3), Chong Kha Lek (#4), Law Jin Keat (#5), Kesean Kwah Koon Kiat (#6), Sie Jie Xiang (#7), Ang Jin Sing Aazon (#8), Lai Boon Yi (#9), Tan Jin Sheng, Brian (#10), Teh An Hong Rovin (#11), Javier Lee Zhi Hui (#12), Wee Song Ming, Nigel (#15), Lee Tze Weng, Nigel (#18)
Daren Chng Jun Ren (#1), Puay Sam Yu (#2), Ong Jun Long, Ernest (#3), Kong Fanji (#6), Woo Zhiying (#7), Issac Yeo Kaiwen (#8), Wilson Ng Rui Feng (#9), Bryan Ong Liming (#10), Dai Xinlong (#11), Ling Chieh Shyan, Clive (#13), Goh Chok Khai (#14), Fang Zhiyong (#16), Yap Tun Yong (#17), Wong Chang Wei (#18)
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