Despite an unexpected slow start to the season, losing six games straight, the varsity boys volleyball team was determined to prove otherwise. In their second home game, against Asia Pacific International School (APIS) Green Hawks, on Oct. 1, the team rallied to a three to one set victory to tally their first win of the season.
“Through the last six games, we reached the lowest point in which we could go to, so we weren’t that nervous,” said Julian Kim (10), varsity boys volleyball player. “The only place we could go from the bottom was to the top.”
The game begins with Matthew Nam (12), Thomas Cha (12), Joon Lee (12), Kyle Bae (12), Togo Tamura (12) and Julian on the court, with Togo hitting the first serve. Although APIS scored the first point, both teams seemed to have a slow start with issues of miscommunication and lack of preparation.
As the two teams engaged in rallies, alternately winning points, Jake Kim (10)’s recovery from an APIS spike sparked a series of well executed plays, bringing the score to 8 to 7, in favor of SIS. The game continued to favor the Tigers as Julian and Matthew spiked several points home with Thomas’ sets, bringing the score to 12 to 7.
Despite the Green Hawks’ tightened defense, the Tigers continued to show their offensive spikes and brought the score to 17 to 9. However, APIS players caught up with the Tigers and brought the score up to 17 to 15, leading to the Tiger’s first timeout.
Not long after their return to the court, Thomas’s set leading up to Julian’s spike began the first of eight consecutive points for the Tigers. With the score at 23 to 15, the Green Hawks took their timeout. However, their timeout did little to affect their results, as Jake’s strong spike ended the first set as the Tigers were victorious with a score with 24 to 15.
The Tigers continued their strong lead on the court as Julian’s serve gave the team a lead with 4 to 2. Although the Green Hawks managed to keep up with the Tigers, their defense fell apart, allowing SIS to gain a 15 to 8 lead with Togo’s ace move. Togo continued to raise the scoreboard, as he gave the team a total of 10 consecutive service streak. Later in the game, although SIS had a 22 to 17 lead, APIS eventually caught up through intense rallies, making the score 23 to 23. However, the Tigers ended up victorious once more as the Green Hawk’s fail to rebound Jake’s spikes.
After losing 2 sets in a row, the Green Hawk’s came out with a strong start, winning their first five points. After a timeout, the Tigers were able to catch up with consecutive Joon’s serves to tie the game with the score at 15 to 15. However, the Green Hawks were able to gain the upper hand and end the third set as their first victory of the night with a final score of 19 to 25.
After the Tigers earned the first 2 points, the two teams began having several long rallies, sharing points back and forth. At 12 to 8, with Tigers in the lead, Nick Yeo (10), who was sitting out due to an injury, replaced Thomas on the court. Although his first serve was short, the next play he set up allowed for Julian to gain a point for the team. After a timeout, the score was tied to 21 to 21, but was followed by the Tiger’s lead and the score of 23 to 21. At the final play, Julian blocked an APIS spike and allowed for the Tigers to win the last set of the night.
After a slow start with a series of losses, the team claimed their first victory with the game against APIS Green Hawks. With the final score of 3 to 1, the Tigers showed moments of teamwork with their rallies and spikes throughout the game. The next game will take place at SIS on Oct. 8 against Chadwick International. The team hopes to rally back from their defeats, especially in hopes of preparation for Association of International Schools in Asia, taking place at SIS on Oct. 18.
“You can’t express this feeling in words,” Kyle said. “We finally came together as a team and I would like to thank [Ivan Atanaskovic, varsity boys volleyball coach] for sticking with us.”