Reported by Mitchell Beast Yeo
Edited by Victor Lee
After suffering a loss to EH in the first preliminary match, the King Edward VII Hall (KE7) female squash team was poised and ready to score a victory against Kent Ridge Hall (KR) and secure a place in the semifinals.
The first match featured KE’s Ho Yan Yi against KR’s Michelle Lee. The latter is an IVP and has years of experience in the racquet sport. And this was shown throughout the match as Michelle sent her opponent running around the court and picked up the win 11-1, 11-2 to win the first match. In between sets, Michelle had requested for the court to be mopped as it was sticky and the audience watch in amusement as a convenor from EH did the task.
The second match pitted KE’s Theng Wai and KR’s Jaclyn. Theng Wai who was playing her final squash match for KE7 brings with her 5 years of IHG experience. Theng Wai was able to take the first set with ease at 10-2. In the second set, Theng Wai played some tricky shots and held an early lead at 7-4. Following a failed boast attempt by Jaclyn, Theng Wai was able to score consecutive points to win the set 11-5.
KE’s Squash captain Meilani played against Jia Qi, who was a tennis player evident from the use of both her hands for a backhand shot. According to good friend Vic-ki, Meilani has put in a lot of effort for the competition. The competitive match captured the attention of the audience. Meilani appeared calm and composed despite some mistakes but eventually lost the first set 11-13. After receiving some advice from alumni and formidable player Deis, Meilani began the second set taking the first couple of points. However, Jia Qi landed some nice shots near the wall that Meilani was unable to receive. In the end, Meilani conceded the match at 9-11.
Rachel, representing KE, faced KR’s Sarah, a badminton player in the fourth match. Rachel is a graduating student who came over from TH last year. She is known for her powerful shots by fellow team members who witnessed them during training sessions. From the warm-up, it was clear that Rachel was the dominant player and made quick work of her adversary winning the first set 11-3. After receiving some encouragement from the audience, Sarah attempted to manage her stress. But Rachel continued with her deadly shots to seal the second set at 11-3.
With 2 matches a piece, the pressure was on Zhu Yan as the final match would determine if KE was able to qualify for the semifinals. However standing in her way was KR’s captain Cheryl. Cheryl’s experience in the sport gave her the upper hand, clinching the first set at 11-5. In the second set, Zhu Yan went after every shot attempting to score points and capitalizing on any mistake made by Cheryl. Eventually, the more experienced opponent sealed the match with a score of 11-2..
In spite of the disappointing defeat 2-3, the female squash team showed what it meant to never quit and to fight with spirit. The team was equipped with the skills but unfortunately with a wrong lineup, they were unable to exploit the strengths of the team. When asked about the team’s performance, captain Meilani apologized for underperforming but is proud of the effort and hours that her players have invested into training. She also mentioned that defeat was not expected but it happens and will try again next year.