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Volleyball - Boys (V) ESC

Event Type: Tournament

Date: November 10, 2017

Result:1st Place
Score:ISL - W: 2-1 (13-25, 25-13, 15-7) BBIS - W: 2-0 (25-16, 25-18) ISZL - W: 2-0 (25-13, 26-24) ISL - W: 2-0 (25-23, 25-22)

Event Recap:

ISL - W: 2-1 (13-25, 25-13, 15-7)
BBIS - W: 2-0 (25-16, 25-18)
ISZL - W: 2-0 (25-13, 26-24)
ISL - W: 2-0 (25-23, 25-22)

Teams from four different countries traveled to Lugano as TASIS hosted the annual European Sports Conference (ESC) Championship in the Palestra gymnasium on November 10–11. The six-team, two-day tournament included teams from the American School of Milan (ASM), Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS), defending champion St. Julian School (SJS, Lisbon), International School of Lausanne (ISL), International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL), and the hosts The American School in Switzerland (TASIS). The TASIS matches are described below.

Pool B match vs ISL
The first match in pool play for TASIS was against ISL—a team the hosts had narrowly beaten 2-1 earlier in the season at the ISSL Tournament. Armed with a talented new opposite hitter making his first appearance of the season, ISL easily won its first match in the morning against BBIS and looked like the team to beat going into the match against TASIS.

ISL came out strong in the first set, overpowering TASIS on offense and playing tough defense. Although the Tigers managed to get a few nice digs and spikes, ISL took the first set 25-13.

Undeterred, TASIS kept the pressure on in the second set while the ISL defense started to crack. A number of passing and hitting errors from ISL gave TASIS the lead, and the Tigers answered back with their own 25-13 victory to tie up the match 1-1.

With their spirits now riding high, the Tigers kept the momentum going and built up an 11-3 lead in the third set. Blocks from Nicola Barbieri ’18 and great saves from Nadir Timerbaev ’19 and Can Basaran ’18 kept the ISL hitters contained, and TASIS was able to hold off a late rally to win the match 15-7.

Pool B match vs BBIS
In the second match of the day, TASIS faced off against BBIS. Showing the effects of a long day of volleyball, both teams struggled with passing and serving errors. Although there was not much action at the net, Basaran and Timerbaev were able to control the ball and find open spots on the BBIS court. Barbieri and Timerbaev also built up a lead with strong serves, and TASIS came away with a 2-0 victory, dispatching BBIS with scores of 25-16 and 25-18. The win put the Tigers at the top of their pool and earned them a bye in the opening round of the tournament bracket the next day.

Semifinal vs. ISZL
In their two previous meetings this season, TASIS was able to beat ISZL 2-1 during the ISSL Tournament and 3-1 at SGIS. However, they were not about to underestimate the Eagles, who have a number of hitters and play strong defense.

In the first set, TASIS played strong defensively while ISZL gave up many points on passing and hitting errors. Blocks and kills from middles Barbieri and Cem Koprulu ’19 carried the Tigers to a 25-13 win and a 1-0 lead.

The second set would be another story. ISZL found its rhythm early on and built up a small lead that it held onto for most of the set. TASIS managed to tie up the score a number of times but could not break away. Down 21-23, TASIS got the serve back and had one more chance to mount a comeback. Displaying confidence under pressure, Timberbaev delivered three strong serves to knock ISZL off balance and take the set 25-23, securing a berth for the Tigers in the championship game.

Final vs ISL
With a full crowd in attendance, the championship match featured a rematch between TASIS and ISL that would prove to be every bit as exciting as the opening match on Friday.

ISL got off to a strong start, building up a 7-2 lead over the Tigers with powerful spikes from their middle and opposite hitters. Luckily the Tigers never lost focus and quickly recovered, tying up the score at 11 and trading the lead with ISL for another 10 points. Though not as powerful as the ISL hitters, middles Barbieri and Theo Blank '18 found holes in the ISL defense, and setters Basaran and Timerbaev attacked from the weak side with a number of tips and spikes to the backcourt. A few more serving rallies from Barbieri and Timerbaev allowed TASIS to grab the lead again at the end for a 25-23 win in the first set.

The second set followed a similar beginning with ISL building up a lead with a strong attack from their big hitters. As in the first set, the Tigers refused to quit and pulled off a series of impressive defensive plays to hang on to morale and build momentum. Sezer Tahiroglu ’19 and Basaran both dug a number of big hits, and an incredible kick save from well outside the court by Barbieri fired up the crowd and won a decisive point late in the set. With both teams trading the lead towards the end, the Tigers hung tough and played near-flawless defense in the final points. Under pressure, a couple of passing errors from ISL handed the Tigers a 25-22 win in the second set and their third ESC Championship in four years.

Following the final match, Barbieri, Basaran, and Timerbaev were chosen by the coaches and refs for the 12-member ESC Tournament All-Star Team.

The final tournament of the 2017 season will be held November 18 in Milan, where TASIS will face regional foes ASM and ISM once more in the annual NISSA Tournament.

2017 ESC Boys Volleyball Tournament Results

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