International School Milan - W: 2-0 (25-14, 25-8)
St. Louis School - W: 2-0 (25-19, 25-15)
American School of Milan - W: 2-0 (25-16, 25-18)
St. Stephen’s School - W: 2-0 (25-9, 25-10)
Recap submitted by Coach Brendan Shea
The TASIS Boys Volleyball team capped off their 2021 season with another 1st-place finish and clean sweep of the NISSA Tournament, hosted by the International School of Milan, on Saturday, November 20.
Facing a slate of matches against mostly unknown opponents from around Italy, the Tigers were prepared for anything as they entered the round-robin tournament, knowing that every match—and every point—could decide the final result.
Strong serving and passing carried the day, allowing TASIS to take the lead and control the momentum of nearly every set of every match. The Tigers averaged an astounding 12.75 aces per game and neutralized opposing offenses with clinical passing and setting. A balanced attack from Tiger hitters in the frontcourt and backcourt kept opponents on their heels, and TASIS cruised to victory, winning 8 straight sets by an average margin of more than 11 points.
The biggest challenge of the tournament came in the third match of the day against longtime NISSA rival, ASM. The two American schools from opposite sides of the border have a storied history at NISSA, having split every championship dating back to 2013, including a number of memorable upsets on both sides. The 2021 edition would be no different: both TASIS and ASM came into the match with no losses from the morning games and had established themselves as the tournament favorites. Knowing that the head-to-head result would likely decide the 1st-place team, the final meeting of the year between TASIS and ASM took on the feel of a championship round.
Having already faced each other three times this season, ASM came prepared with a game plan for the distinguished TASIS 5-1 offense that had dominated the rivalry so far this season. Leveraging their height advantage in the middle, the Panthers briefly wrestled the lead away from the Tigers midway through the first set. However, the Tigers maintained their composure and took back the lead with a series of serving runs to finish the set 25-16.
In the second set, TASIS established an early lead and held off persistent attacks from ASM, winning long volleys with patient, mistake-free passing. TASIS closed the door on a would-be upset with a 25-18 win in the second set, clinching a 1st-place finish and perfect record against ASM for the 2021 season.
A final win against an inexperienced squad from St. Stephens School of Rome lacked significance for the tournament result but gave TASIS their 15th and final win of the season, extending their winning streak to 12 matches and 26 straight sets.
This year's 2021 NISSA championship title is the fifth for the TASIS Boys Volleyball, the most in league history.
Throughout the tournament. the Tigers were led by captain and Opposite Hitter Ivan Linnikov '22 (23 Kills, 2 Blocks, 9 Digs, 2 Assists, 5 Aces), Setter Alejandro Orosco '23 (1 Kill, 1 Block, 4 Digs, 29 Assists, 5 Aces), Middle Hitter Charles Mut-Tracy '22 (12 Kills, 5 Blocks, 5 Digs, 1 Assist, 7 Aces), Middle Hitter Wil Pacini '23 (10 Kills, 5 Blocks, 2 Digs, 5 Aces), Outside Hitter Ryoi Saito '23 (8 Kills, 1 Block, 5 Digs, 15 Aces), and Outside Hitter Jakob Norton-Scherer '22 (4 Kills, 1 Block, 1 Dig, 1 Assist, 9 Aces). A supporting cast of players from the bench also contributed throughout the day and proved that TASIS should be a team to watch when they return to action in 2022.
Past NISSA Champions