Having finished a nerve-wracking second in SEASAC last year, the U19 boys volleyball team were eager to go one better this year’s tournament, and earn promotion to Division 1. On 3 November, the team traveled to MKIS in Kuala Lumpur to battle it out against 5 other teams, confident that this year, they were better trained and prepared than in any previous years.
The boys began the tournament in convincing fashion, cruising to a straight sets (3-0) victory over KLASS. It was a perfect start to the tournament for the boys, who were growing in confidence with every set played. The second game of the day, against MKIS, was a much closer affair, with the hosts fighting to the wire in front of their home crowd. Eventually, the Dover boys came out on top in the deciding set, the tight finish giving the team valuable experience playing under pressure, which would be vital going into the business end of the tournament.
The team started the second day against TTS, who like Dover, were undefeated on the first day. The boys once again sailed to a straight sets (3-0) win, now firm favourites to make the semi-finals. This followed with another 3-0 win over the British School of Jakarta, a game which allowed the team to rest a few of its key players ahead of the crucial matches that were to follow soon after.
In a repeat of last year’s semi-final, the boys were once again up against KLASS for a spot in the pivotal final game. With the team riding on a wave of momentum going into the match, they knew that a strong and consistent performance, similar to their games thus far, would be more than enough to come out on top. The teamwork and organised play from the boys propelled the team to a straight sets victory once again, reaching the all-important final game.
Hungrier than ever to go one better after last year’s bitter disappointment in the final, hosts MKIS, who won their semi-final game 3-1, were the only team in Dover’s way to the trophy. The earlier game against the hosts the only close game so far, the boys were wary and extremely determined to put on a top performance in the game they had trained so hard for. In the end, the team cruised to a straight sets victory once again, finishing the tournament as undefeated winners. It was a hugely commendable performance from the team, who earn promotion to Division 1 next year and will be eager to prove themselves against the best schools in the region.
The team wasn't just united on the court, but over the course of the season have formed a tight bond off the court as well. The A team consisted of Gordon Chan, Chris Lee, Justin Heskamp, Jae Young Maeng, Yuki Nagatomo, Cas Vandrabant, Samuel Lin, Shaun Kai Khundker, Brian (Joon Ho) Lee, Ken Meng Tan, Erik Hartman and Ray Ong. MVP awards were given to Samuel, Chris, Ken and Cas for their exceptional individual performances over the course of the tournament. A special mention to the boys on the B team as well, who fought valiantly both in training sessions and throughout the tournament.
A huge congratulations to both the team and coach Jerome for creating history and winning SEASAC, especially for a relatively new team in the school. We look forward to seeing this team rise to greater heights over the coming years.