by Justin Lim (16A01B)
Within the small spectators’ galley outside the squash courts of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, the cheers of Rafflesian supporters for our A Division Girls Squash team reverberated with a tenacity only paralleled by the intense fight happening down in the court. It’s safe to say that the girls didn’t let their supporters nor the school down by emerging victorious from their finals, beating National Junior College 5-0 in a memorable finals match to be remembered.
To provide some context on the sport, squash is a sport is played within a four-walled court with demarcations that serve as service boxes and “out” boundaries. Players must hit the ball against the front wall before them, with an allowance for the ball to bounce over every other wall– including the floor– once. The sport requires high levels of agility and strength in the players’ shots; players must not only be aware of the ball’s dynamics, but also remain on the offensive by aiming for the corners of the court to make it harder for their opponent to retrieve the ball.
First up was Nicole Teo Rui En (15S06C), who displayed both power and skill in her shots having won two sets against National’s captain Lee Ying Xi (11-7, 11-4). Subsequently, Ying Xi had managed to gain a win for NJC with a close score of 11-8. Despite this, Nicole turned the tables by achieving a win of 11-8 in her next set, scoring RI’s first win for the afternoon.
Riding on the tailwind of Nicole’s success was Clara Tan Jia En (15S03G), who had emerged triumphantly by winning three consecutive sets for her team (11-7, 11-6, 11-2). Mirroring her success was Tay Kay Shayne Michelle (15S06S) who had managed to secure RI’s win by beating her opponent in a clean sweep of 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-3).
Although RI had already secured a gold in this year’s A Division Girl’s tournament, the atmosphere still remained tense as the final two matches were played out. Chan Mei Zhi Audrey (15S03H) proved that they were by no means about to relax despite the school’s overall victory, winning another three consecutive wins against her opponent (11-3, 11-8, 11-7). The competition drew to a close with RI Squash Girls’ Captain Chong Yin Jean (15S03C)) obtaining three wins against her opponent as well (11-5, 11-8, 11-7).
After the heated matches, Yin Jean shares with Press that she believed her team did their best in every match: “Even though we’re the favourites this year, they weren’t complacent and they gave their best even through all the preliminary, semi-finals and final matches.” She also believes that “they rose to the occasion and did very, very well.”, and that she was extremely proud of her team for their success.
Having pushed through gruelling mental and physical challenges such as injuries and frequent training sessions that pushed the players to their limits, Press is sure that we all share her sentiments of pride with regards to the double-win they helped achieve together with Boys’ Team. Congratulations to both Squash Teams, and on behalf of the school Press wishes them luck for their future competitions!