ISM - W: 2-0 (25-16, 25-23)
SSS - W: 2-0 (25-13, 25-18)
ASM - L: 1-2 (25-22, 23-25, 12-15)
Recap submitted by Coach Brendan Shea.
The Boys Volleyball Team came away with second place at the round-robin NISSA championships on Saturday after a day of exciting, hard-fought matches hosted by the International School of Milan.
As the four-time returning champions, the Tigers came in to the tournament as the team to beat and would face familiar foes ASM and ISM, as well as newcomer St. Stephens School of Rome.
In the first match, TASIS got off to a slow start against a rookie squad from ISM. Despite a number of serving and passing errors, TASIS took the match in two sets 25-16, 25-23. Leading the team were Outside Ivan Linnikov ‘22 (5 kills, 1 Ace), Outside Ivan Kozuhar ‘21 (3 Kills, 1 Ace) and Setter Maxim Minkov '21 (1 Kill, 3 Aces).
In response to their slow start, the Tigers found their focus and came in full-force in their second match against St. Stephens. With a barrage of serves and spikes, TASIS built an early lead in both sets and carried the momentum to win the match in two sets, 25-13 and 25-18. The Tigers were led by Middle Zhantimir Sarsenov ‘21 (5 Kills, 2 Blocks, 4 Aces, 1 Dig), Kozuhar (4 kills, 3 Aces) and Middle Martin Leon Caplan ‘22 (3 blocks, 3 Aces, 1 Dig).
With both teams 2-0 in the tournament, the last match of the day between ASM and TASIS had all the weight and excitement of a playoff final. Both teams fought hard throughout the match, and every set featured some incredible spikes and digs on both sides.
In a gritty, defensive battle in the first set, TASIS carried a modest lead throughout to win 25-22. The Tigers continued to fight hard in the second set, hoping to close out the match 2-0, but ASM refused to give up. The Panthers retook the lead at the very end to win 25-23 and force a third set. In the decisive final set, serves would prove to be the difference-maker. ASM built a 12-7 lead on strong serving runs and looked like they might cruise to victory. However, the Tigers fought back with their own serving run from Martin Caplan to bring the score to 14-12. After a strategic time-out, ASM ended the heroic comeback with an authoritative spike to win 15-12.
TASIS was led by Sarsenov (3 Kills, 2 Blocks, 2 Aces, 1 Dig), Kozuhar (5 Kills, 1 Ace, 1 Dig), Caplan (1 block, 2 Aces, 3 Digs) and Setter Ali Rahal ‘22 (4 Aces).
The Tigers will be back in action on November 2 in Basel for the SGIS Championship.