Renfred Eng helps NYJC retain A Div boys’ volleyball title, Latest School Sports News - The New Paper
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Renfred Eng helps NYJC retain A Div boys’ volleyball title

He may be smaller in stature by comparison, but Renfred Eng is certainly big in motivation after firing Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) past Hwa Chong Institution 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 25-13) to retain the National School Games (NSG) boys’ A Division volleyball title on May 14.

Fuelled by the B Division victory with Catholic High School in 2023, the 17-year-old was determined to be part of the NYJC’s A Division team heading into this NSG season.

However, being the shortest spiker in the team at 1.80m, Renfred knew he had to improve in other aspects physically.

The Year 1 student said: “I needed to improve my jumps, so I put a lot of effort into training my legs so that I’m stronger. I put in a lot more hours, going to the gym and getting extra reps... I had the drive to be on this team.”

Those efforts paid off handsomely as the outside hitter’s powerful spikes whipped the crowd into a frenzy during the final at Our Tampines Hub.

For Renfred, who started playing volleyball when he was in Primary 2 and is part of the national youth beach volleyball team, winning back-to-back titles is a dream come true. 

“I watched the A Division final in 2019, and I told myself I have to play at this level. I finally made it,” he said.

His coach Ng Chee Hoe said: “He needs to learn to keep his composure, but he’s very skilful and one of the best technically.”

Renfred was also quick to praise his teammates: “There are times when we’re in the gym or training until late, but no one sees that. Credit to the team, the win’s well deserved because of all the efforts we put in.”

Captain Caleb Ngoh agreed, adding: “It wasn’t about individuals, but rather a team effort. There’s always pressure when you’re trying to do something at a high level, but we did a good job of handling it.”

He also revealed that the team had to change their strategy against Hwa Chong, which worked a treat.

“We knew that this year’s opponents will grind and will not give up easily, so we adopted a different playing style. We had to train our stamina, improve our communication, and the team did well with that,” Caleb said.

Hwa Chong co-captains Hagan Koh and Puay Keane Yu were proud of the team despite the defeat.

Hagan added: “We didn’t have a good start… which snowballed into more mistakes. But everyone put in 100 per cent as a team.”

Hwa Chong did not return empty-handed, with their girls’ team keeping their crown by beating Victoria Junior College 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-22) in a repeat of the 2023 final.

Captain Wang Yiting said: “It was a bittersweet feeling retaining the title as we’re graduating. The team stepped up, and went above and beyond.”

Teammate Fu Wenqi, whose serves and spikes proved too hot to handle for the opponents, added: “We knew we needed to be stable and get one point at a time, so I’m proud we could pull that off and perform at our best.”

Victoria captain Abiana Palwanit Pharamond praised her team’s effort, saying: “The team put in a lot of hard work and fought till the end.”

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