IASAS Volleyball

Once again, IASAS has come and gone. First season volleyball and cross-country IASAS was held here in Bangkok with our Panthers ending with solid finishes. The games began on Thursday October 8th, as the gyms filled with crowds of supporters from all six IASAS schools.

After working incredibly hard all season, the girls’ team started off the tournament winning their first two games against ISKL and TAS. Their last match of the day was against the reigning champions, SAS. They fought hard and gave the Eagles a run for their money, taking one set of the match, but eventually lost 2-1.

One of the captains of the girls’ varsity team Madison Warta (11) commented, “all throughout the weekend we worked as a unit and pushed through all the hardships. I think as a team, we worked so well together because we truly are all great friends and that is shown on and off the court.”

Leaving the round robin as the third seed, they played the sixth-seeded team, JIS, in the playoffs and won 3-0, leading them into the semifinals against SAS. The girls started the game strong, leading 2-0 only needing one more set to earn them a spot in the finals, but they couldn’t push through and ended up losing a 2-3 nailbiter.

After a devastating loss in the semis, the girls had to come back and play TAS in the consolations. Head coach Steve Perkins stated that “the girls showed so much resilience. Pushing SAS to the brink of elimination, and then after that heart-breaking loss to come out and beat a tough TAS team 3-0?  Amazing…. I’m so proud of the girls.”

The boys’ team ended the first day of competition on top, winning all three games against TAS, JIS, and, last year’s champions, SAS, which tied them with ISM for first seed. Unfortunately, our boys lost to ISM on the second day, but their win over ISKL landed them the second seed spot, as well as a bye for the playoffs. This meant they went straight into the semifinals on the morning of the third day.

Supporters at the semifinal match between ISB and TAS saw the Panthers fall into a 0-2 hole, and an effort of astounding resilience to push the match to a fifth and final set proved to be just short of enough for the host team. The boys came back and fought hard against the ISM Bearcats in the consolation match and earned their bronze medal. Mauro Indigne (11), one of the team’s all-tournament winners, had an exceptional match, but dedicates their win to their captain, Afi Blackshear (12) as they “couldn’t have done it without a great captain who kept us strong and motivated us to do our best.”

Coach Colin Stephenson stated that though “the team [felt] disappointed in [their] semi-final loss,” both coaches were “very proud of the guys’ leadership and character throughout the tournament, but especially in the way that they were able to pick themselves up after the loss and crush ISM to win the bronze medal.”

The final play of the season was an ace by our very own Afi Blackshear (12), a testament to his stellar volleyball career. Congratulations to the 4-year IASAS participant and all-tournament winner for finishing his last volleyball season as a Panther on a positive note.

Congratulations to both teams for finishing with a double bronze and making their fellow Panthers proud! The grit and dedication of the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams shone through, inspiring many of our younger Panthers who came out to show their support.