Cheung Sha Wan Catholic Secondary School (CSW) survived a scare to win their third consecutive title in the boys' category of the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Volleyball Tournament.
They defeated Shau Kei Wan Government Secondary School (SKW) 3-2 in the final at Tsing Yi Sports Centre last Thursday. CSW's setter, Leung Yu-tang, was named the tournament's most valuable player.
CSW dominated the early exchanges, winning the first two sets 25-20 and 25-12. Attackers Lo Yik-cheung, 18, and Wan Tsz-hin, 17, were big threats to their opponents. Yu-tang, 17, frequently delivered them good balls which they used to make vital hits after eluding their rival blockers.
CSW's fierce serves caused a lot of problems for their opponents who found it difficult to launch successful attacks. SKW also made a lot of unforced errors in serving, blocking and spiking.
But they made a strong comeback to win the next two sets, 25-20 and 25-22. SKW strengthened their defence, and their attacker, Shih Wai-pun, 17, made some powerful spikes.
But with both teams tied at 4-4 in the decider, CSW stepped up their game, and went on to win the set and the match. Ting Chun-yin, 16, who came on for Yik-cheung who was suffering from cramps, delivered some excellent serves and smashed three aces which helped boost the team's morale. CSW took the final set, 15-7.
Yu-tang said the victory was sweet revenge for CSW's loss to SKW in the final of the A-grade Inter-school Volleyball Competition (Division One - Kowloon and Hong Kong Island) in November. "We learned a lesson from the inter-school competition final," said Yu-tang. "Since our first pass wasn't good that day, we practised it a lot and our efforts paid off in the Jing Ying final. We're also more confident and determined now."
CSW coach Leung Che-wai said the team have made big improvements and they are "mentally tougher". "After losing the inter-school final, they became more determined. They trained hard for the Jing Ying event," said Leung. "We knew that our opponent was not good with their first pass so we also focused on serving. We also had a tough defence, with digging, diving and blocking."
The girls' final mirrored that of the boys', when STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School (CYTSS) were crowned champions for the third time in a row after scoring a convincing 25-21, 25-19, 25-13 victory over Jockey Club Ti-I College.
CYTSS coach Chan Shiu-ki was happy with the team's tactics and techniques. "Our attacks were very powerful so we dominated most of the match," said Chan. "Our serving was also very strong - we particularly used the jump serve and tennis serve. But our first pass was a problem so we need to improve it."
CYTSS controlled the game from the start, led by attackers Wong Sin-yu and Ng Sze-wing, both 16.
Captain Chan Ming-wai, 17, also excelled with her powerful smashes. "Our team members are generally taller than our opponents so we could make overhand hits," said Ming-wai, who won the MVP award. "We focused on tactics during training, and our quick attacks caused a lot of trouble for our opponents."