|Volleyball - Girls (V) ESC|
|Date:||November 16, 2018|
vs. SJS L: 1–2
For the final tournament of the season, the Varsity Girls Volleyball team traveled to the American School of Milan (ASM) for the European Sports Conference (ESC) Championships. On Thursday afternoon, traveling after attending almost a full day of classes, the girls arrived at ASM just in time for their first game. They were mentally exhausted from a tough day of school and not quite awake going into their first game vs St. Julian’s School (SJS). The ladies managed to win the first set, but their opponents had a strong comeback in the second set and took the opening game of the tournament.
On Friday, the girls had a difficult start in their first game against the SGIS champions, International School of Lausanne (ISL), falling behind 9-0 to a strong server. They regained some momentum, but still lost a tight first set 25-23. Giulia de Cristofaro ’20 led the ladies with her strong serves in a very competitive second set, assisted by amazing blocks by Valentina Correa da Silva ’19 and great saves by Anna Alyakina '19. It was unfortunately not enough to beat the Tigers' friendly rivals.
The second game of the day was against American School of Valencia (ASV), and there was a clear difference in the skill levels. With consistent serves by Cristina Estevez ’19 and strong hits by Ella Hauptman ’20, the girls did not allow ASV to get close and won the match comfortably.
The final game on Friday was against Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS). TASIS started off rocky, unable to get a rhythm to the game. The game was neck-and-neck, but good energy and serves brought by Giulia de Cristafaro '20 followed by beautiful sets by co-captain Virginia Italia ’19 allowed for co-captain Ally Pohl ’19 to make some killer hits, giving the team a great advantage. Charlotte Staubach ’19 covered up the dead spots and nothing was getting past Jenni Kraemer ’20, whose great saves helped clinch the first set 25-23. The girls kept the momentum from the first set and did not allow BBIS to get close, winning the second set 25-9.
The ladies started the final day of their final tournament of the season against International School of Geneva (LGB campus). Having become friends leading up to the game, both teams were excited to play one another. As had become typical in this tournament, the girls had a slow start, not immediately getting into a strong rhythm by missing multiple serves and losing the first set. However, the girls came back for the second set ready to play. Estevez and Hauptman led the way with strong and consistent serves, and Correa da Silva made smart tips, not allowing ISG to come even close as the Tigers won the second set 25-8, a score that would make a big impact in the outcome of the tournament later. The girls kept their now-strong momentum and, although the score got tight toward the end, managed to win the tie-breaker against 15-12.
At the end of pool play, ISL had secured the first-place slot, but three teams were tied for 2nd place with 3 wins and 2 losses: SJS, ISG and TASIS. With a three-way tie, and the set count being even, it came down to a difference in points. The second set vs. ISG (25-8) gave TASIS a significant point advantage, and the Tigers came through as second in their group and would play against the winners of the other pool: their arch nemesis, ASM!
After a tough loss in the first set, the Lady Tigers managed to win the second set 29-27. They stayed focused throughout the game, and the fourth and final match against ASM this season went into a tie-breaking set, in which the girls struggled against ASM’s strong serves and fought hard but ultimately lost.
Due to the extra long game vs. ASM, the Tigers went to play against Benjamin Franklin International School (Barcelona) for the bronze medal after a very short break. Physically and emotionally exhausted from the intensity of the ASM match, the Tigers could not get into the game properly. Kraemer and Pohl channeled their energy to deliver great hits and smart tips that kept the team afloat in yet another neck-and-neck game. Both sets were tight, but TASIS managed to pull through and secure third place for the tournament.
After this final match, the girls cheered for their friends from ISL as they prevailed over ASM in a tough 3-set match. The two teams have developed great bonds over the years, and the TASIS ladies were excited for ISL to win this tournament.
A big thank you to the entire team and coaching staff for an amazing season, and congratulations to the girls for taking 3rd out of 12 teams!