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SCIS Volleyball Triumphs: Dragons Soar to ACAMIS Victory and SISAC Honors!

Pudong Varsity Girls and Boys Volleyball 2023 

Coaches: Mark Heil, Mindy Lee, Luke Cantrill 

Written by Harry Brookfield, Athletics, Activities, and Aquatics Director at SCIS Pudong 

The volleyball season kicked off the whole sports year at SCIS Pudong. We began with the Dragon Cup, held at SCIS Hongqiao, and our boys' and girls’ varsity teams played counterparts from both SCIS Hongqiao and Hangzhou. It should be noted that both teams also fielded players from Grade 8! Over the course of the season, with matches against teams from schools like SAS Pudong, Concordia, and Wellington, several of the biggest and strongest schools in Shanghai with respect to their sports programs, our Dragons developed and went from strength to strength, saving our strongest performances for the end of the season. This resulted in the boys' team playing in the D1 Cup, and the girls’ team playing in the D1 Plate SISAC tournaments. Coach Heil (boys coach) and Coach Lee (girls coach) were both very proud of their teams on the courts in these two final tournaments, commenting on just how much progress the players had made. This progression resulted in two outstanding performances at the ACAMIS season-ending tournament in Shenzhen, held at the beginning of November; our girls’ team came fourth overall, and there were three Grade 8 students in that team, and our boys' team (all Grade 9-12) came first! Not since 2019 has SCIS Pudong taken anything away from an ACAMIS tournament! We are moving onto basketball now at the High School level, with ACAMIS to be held in Beijing at the end of January; let's keep our fingers crossed to see if we can take home first place again! 


Hongqiao Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball 2023 

Coach: Luke Patterson 

The 2023/34 Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball season has come to an end. The girls played well throughout the season and impressively won all eight games, never losing a set. There were several highlights such as comeback wins, “off the net” plays, and serving streaks. The team took home the SISAC Western Division Plaque and battled hard to get into the finals with Concordia, the Eastern Division winner. Despite being tired, the team never gave up as they tried to mount their comeback. Although, at the moment, the team was disappointed with a second-place finish, they can hold their heads high and be proud of a great season. With adjustments and hard work, we will come back prepared to win next season.   


Hongqiao Varsity Girls Volleyball 2023 

Coach: Melissa Dennie 

We began the Varsity Girls Volleyball season rebuilding as many experienced athletes moved on to further studies and faraway places. This year returning players stepped into new roles, positions, and rotations, while up-and-coming athletes learned how to further develop their foundations, ready to step in at any moment. The season kicked off hosting our Dragon Cup giving each player plenty of playing time and an opportunity to grow as a team in confidence and communication. Moving through our regular season, the girls worked hard to develop a consistent return, block, tip, and play off the net making the team more competitive and unpredictable with each passing game. Our season ended with the team traveling to Hangzhou for ACAMIS where the girls made it into the championship game taking home second place overall in an epic third-set battle where they forced Hangzhou International School, the home team, into a win by two scenarios. Everyone's heart was pounding, an athletic experience and memory no player will soon forget and can look back on with a proud smile. Go Dragons! 


Hongqiao Junior Varsity Boys Volleyball 2023 

Coach: Kirk Thomas 

The Junior Varsity Boys Volleyball team, a blend of inexperienced and CISSA-grade players, diligently honed their skills, emphasizing hard work, hustle, communication, and mutual support. In the SCIS Dragon Cup, they showcased resilience, winning one match and narrowly losing two against seasoned senior teams. The SISAC regular season saw slow beginnings but climaxed with a remarkable comeback against YCIS Puxi. Boosted by newfound confidence, the boys went 6-0 before a challenging final match against Suzhou. Despite falling short, they secured the second seed in the SISAC Volleyball Championships. Winning their first two matches, they faced Suzhou again in a highly contested final, ultimately securing the SISAC championship. As varsity players graduate, junior varsity players may transition to the varsity team next year, marking a promising future for SCIS Boys Volleyball. 


Hongqiao Varsity Boys Volleyball 2023  

Coach: Derek Janssen 

The dedicated team of 11 players grew together throughout the season, focusing on teamwork, communication, and a defense-first mentality. There were plenty of learning opportunities along the journey with close home matches and a difficult split squad experience at the Dragon Cup. Through all the highs and lows of the season, the varsity boys put together an exciting SISAC tournament, losing a close three-set, semifinal battle to SAS Pudong. Five days later, the team traveled to the ACAMIS championship in Hangzhou, where they played seven matches over a three-day span. After winning an epic, semifinal match against HIS they came up short in the final against Discovery College Hong Kong. Congratulations to the team on all your accomplishments this season, and best of luck to our graduating players in their future athletic endeavors. 


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