On September 15, TAS will host a volleyball exchange for visiting international schools to compete against the boys’ and girls’ varsity volleyball teams. Two teams, the International School of Manila (ISM) and the International School of Bangkok (ISB), are are both members of the International Association of Southeast Asian Schools (IASAS) association. In addition to these familiar faces, Concordia International School Shanghai from the Asia Pacific Activities Conference (APAC) division and Morrison Academy Taichung from the Asia Christian Schools Conference (ACSC) will be attending the exchange.

Visual: Kevin Lee/The Blue & Gold.

Daniel Wang (‘18), captain of the TAS men’s volleyball team says, “Although we lost three very important players from our team last year, I think the players in our team this year are all very skilled.” To him, the exchange is the perfect opportunity “to put all of our hard work during the off-season together. If we can develop a stronger team trust and chemistry before IASAS, it will help take us to the next level.” Daniel also says, “Since we will be forced to play three games on the second day of the exchange, it will be a good test for our endurance.”

On the other side of the gym, Cynthia Yeh (‘18), co-captain of the TAS girls’ volleyball team says, “The volleyball team is looking very sharp, although we lost six seniors.” She also recalls that TAS girls volleyball is usually the shortest team , but this year is different. “We have taller rookies, giving us the advantage of running more offensive plays against other tall teams,” says Cynthia. She also points to chemistry as another focal point for the exchange. “Once our team work is solid mentally and physically, we will be able to keep up with the momentum in the games and play at our best.”

Bianca Antonio (‘18) of the International School of Manila (ISM) girls’ volleyball team says that the exchange is a great opportunity to experience foreign cultures, while simultaneously testing out ISM’s abilities against other schools from the IASAS organization. Regarding the strength of her team, which won silver in the 2016 IASAS volleyball tournament, she says, “Every year, teams lose players all the time, but it’s important to focus on and develop the current team and not look back at what was in the past.”

Former TAS student and Concordia boys’ volleyball player Michael Gordon (‘18) looks forward to the upcoming event as it is an opportunity for an APAC school to be recognized. He says, “The main goal is to finally beat Taipei with my Concordia team, but I also want my team to realize that being one of the best teams in the APAC division does not mean that we are the best around.” International School of Bangkok (ISB) boys’ volleyball player and captain, Seung Won Paek (‘18) says, “The exchange at TAS is a great opportunity for many of the new players in our team to get a sense of the competition between IASAS schools, as it is a whole new level compared to the competition in Bangkok. Competing at a higher level, players are able improve both physically and mentally.”

Immediately after the end of last years’ volleyball season, the boys’ volleyball team organized games at various high schools and universities in Taipei, in order to continue to polish their skills. Coach Tobey states, “I’m really looking forward to watching them at this year’s IASAS tournament as I believe that we will be very competitive.” Girl’s volleyball coach, Peter Kimball believes that the middle school volleyball training program solidifies the players’ skills before coming to high school, which explains the five new underclassmen on his team. Rather than focusing on developing the girls’ skills, Coach Kimball says, “The only thing we had to work on was applying their skills on various positions to create the best formation for this exchange and IASAS.” Evidently, the exchange is the first test to see how much the volleyball teams have improved over the season.

Come support the TAS volleyball teams on Sept. 15 and 16.