To conclude the 2016 Varsity Volleyball season, the team travelled to Brussels early on Wednesday morning to compete in the annual ISST tournament. Wednesday was a designed travel day, thus there was no competition but rather sightseeing, viewing the facilities and meeting our housers.
Despite having a rest day, Thursdays competitions came fast. The girls got plenty of rest prior and were able to win our first game against the Cairo American College, a team never played against before. Our first set was won with ease, but the second set gave us a little more trouble as Cairo stepped up their game as we ended up conceding the second set to CAC. Despite the single loss, ZIS was determined to win their first game at ISSTs. We came out strong in the third set, confidently winning the tiebreaker set. Closely following our first victory was our second victory. The team was feeling great and we were able to beat our opponent, TASIS England, which we had played before, in straight sets.
The following game was just as tough as we expected. Walking onto the court, we knew this game would be our toughest in the tournament. We have previously played was against Cobham in England during which they had beaten us. Although trying not to not let this affect our game and putting up a tough fight, we were sadly not able to beat Cobham. They had a clearly stronger team with their stand-out players and we therefore lost two straight sets.
By this time, the team had played 3 full games and were running out of energy. During this rocky time our game against, without doubt the most well rounded and strongest team, American School of the Hague was scheduled. Due to this we unfortunately lost
two straight sets leading to a win for ASH.
The following day, the girls came onto the court refreshed and eager to win all 3 of our games. First we played Frankfurt which we had played and beat twice the previous weekend. Therefore we came into the game confident and wanting to practice our skills to use in the more challenging games to follow. By incorporating these new skills we were able to win 2 straight sets with a good style of play from the ZIS girls.
The next game against International School Brussels created a lot of pressure for the girls as it was the deciding game whether we were playing for 5th/6th in our finals or for 3rd/4th. With emotions running high, the girls worked to stay focused throughout the whole game to ensure the win. We were able to win the first set although ISB were able to pull through to get the second set, moving us into the tie breaker set. Volleyball is very much a game of momentum and we knew that the key to winning was stopping their momentum and getting ourselves on a roll. We were able to win the third set which meant that we were moving onto the 3rd/4th game the next day against American School London. After a short break, we began our qualifier game against ASL although we knew in the back of our heads that no matter the result of this game, we would be playing against ASL the following day. Sadly we ended up losing the game leaving us incredibly determined to prove ourselves the next day in the finals.
The last day of ISSTs was an emotional day for some seniors, knowing this was the last day to play with their team. Together we put in all we had in attempt to win our final game against ASL. After a long warmup we were able to win the first set, but ASL came back strong and won the second set. However we were not too worried because the finals were to five sets, meaning we just needed to win two further sets, fortunately this is exactly what happened. We had the momentum for the next two sets and were able to secure fourth place with a set score of (3-1).
Briefly, before going to the airport, there was a short ceremony in which we got our medals and trophy and the all Tournament team was announced. Special congratulations to Natalia Rombel (‘17) and Frederika Sommer (‘19) for being announced as two of the best 10 players at the tournament!
Written by: Sarah Felicity Black (‘18)