Written by: Dorothy Leong
Edited by: Sarah Cheng
It’s a dreary Wednesday night and everyone in the little island of Singapore is cursing the midweek blues. However, in a faraway corner of NUS, palpable excitement clouds the air. A handful of KEVIIans dressed in different coloured shirts seem to be shuttling a ball over a net to screams and claps from enthusiastic supporters. What could possibly be happening?
OH, YES. It was the third day of the Inter-Block games and representatives from all blocks had flocked to the Multi-Purpose Courts to take part the game of Volleyball, a seemingly mindless repetition of hitting the ball from one side of the net to the other. Upon closer observation, though, one would soon realise that the sport was harder than it seemed.
AB vs. F
The first match saw blocks AB and F battling it out on the court. It looked to be intense, with both sides fiercely trying to score by hitting the ball in a way so that the opponents would not be able to volley the ball back. One player stood out – freshie Zheng Jie’s skills at spiking the ball soon saw AB pull ahead to win the first half. F played better in the second half, having gotten the hang of the game, and managed to close the score gap, losing only by two points. Their spirits were high, however, with them cheering “F block whoosh!” after scoring every point.
Match Score: 2-0
E vs. GH
The next match was gamely played between E and GH, with E scoring the first two points easily. GH soon managed to set up a strategy, however, and, with a talented senior in their midst, they quickly scored consecutive points. A spectacular save by said senior, Regan, who hit the ball from the very edge of the court, stopped the other team from scoring. There was some buzz from the crowd as the ball was hit too hard, sending it over the fence and into the wilderness, eliciting some laughs from the supporters. Luckily, thanks to the great planning of the sports committee, another ball was quickly produced and the match continued to see GH victorious.
Match Score: 0-2
CD vs. F
Word has it that CD’s players all had experience in volleyball. But that did not daunt the team from F. After recovering from their earlier loss, they pulled together and formed a formidable team centred by star player Tian Sheng, who scored the first point in the match with a powerful spike from right next to the net. A supporter was overheard to have said that F “scored many points in style”. CD player Fiona also displayed her spiking skills, fiercely defending her team score. However, the F team was more daring and took many risky dives and shots, and emerged the winner of both halves.
Match Score: 0-2
AB vs GH
The two teams were evenly matched, with AB winning the first half and GH the second. AB’s team maintained good communication between their players, and they were able to pass the ball between players to get a perfect shot. Regan, once again, showed his prowess and skill, jousting for the ball many times. Zheng Jie also showcased his four years of experience in volleyball and managed to help his team win the tiebreaker by 2 points. GH was not dampened by the loss – they remained cheery as they left the court, ready to give their best in their next game.
Match Score: 2-1
The games went on and all the teams fought valiantly. Although most of the players did not actually know how to play volleyball, they made up for their inexperience with enthusiasm and spirit. Even injured players, like Buan Heng from GH, showed great passion and put in effort to play in the matches to help his block win (not recommended, though – injured kids, please don’t participate in the IBG if you feel that it’ll hinder your recovery process.).
It was evident from the smiles and chatter that everyone was having fun. When asked, AB’s Zheng Jie said that he “really enjoyed the games, as it was fun and also a good chance to bond with blockmates”. He went on to say how he was impressed that “even the girls (in his team) that were completely new to volleyball showed fighting spirit and became the star players in a nail-biting match”. Yes, indeed. One could see the confidence in the players grow as the matches progressed. Regardless of the outcome, new friendships were forged and existing bonds strengthened. That’s the whole point of the Inter-Block Games, isn’t it?
Photos courtesy of KE Vision.