The girls volleyball team has parted ways with outgoing starters from the last school year, Vanessa C., Emilie B., and Maria M., all of whom brought years of volleyball experience.
This year will see a mix of rebuilding while also pursuing the DVAC varsity girls championship with returning seniors Stela S. and Teddy T. leading the team. Both girls have been with the AIS-Salzburg volleyball program since joining the school in grade 8 and bring a lot of experience backed by booming serves to the forefront of the Lions’ attack. Maddie T. and Marina B. have also been with the team a long time and are both slotted in to be regular starters and a big net presence for the Lions. Sonia G. returns for her second season of volleyball and brings court awareness and consistency on the service line to the team.
New comers Emmalee J., Elli S., Dunja N., Renate G., and Eliza D. fill out the roster with Emmalee stepping up in a major role as setter. All girls have shown a knack for volleyball and will be contributing to the success of the team.
September 27th – @ Bavarian International School
The Lady Lions got off to a slow start losing the first match against the host BIS Lions 21-25. Missed serves played a major role in the defeat but communication was surprisingly good for the first matchup of the season. The Lions rallied to win sets two and three 25-20 and 25-22. Coach Burns took advantage of the lead to get some new players into the game in the fourth set. Finding chemistry with new teammates is always a challenge and this proved to be a challenge in this set as the Lions lost 17-25. In the fifth and final set the Lions’ starters returned to the floor but the two BIS big servers saved their best for last and got their team off to an early 9-1 lead which was too big of a hole to overcome for the Lions in the shorter set to 15. The Lions eventually fell 6-15.
Despite the loss, the Lions made huge gains in their chemistry as a team, which is typically a big disadvantage as a small boarding school playing against larger day schools.
October 6th – DVAC Varsity Girls Volleyball Festival Budapest
The Lady Lions were off to Budapest with only one prep game in their pocket, but coach Burns was confident they could hang with the DVAC elite in this mid-season roundup.
The Lions were up against a consistent powerhouse in recent years, BIS Budapest, in the first game of the tournament. The Lions came out very flat in the first set, obviously still waking up and recovering from the long journey the day before. A combination of missed serves and two giant blockers/attackers on the other team led to a rough start for the Lions which saw them lose 11-25. The Lions also lost Emmallee J., one of two setters in their two-setter system, to an ankle sprain late in the set. With Emmallee sidelined, players had to play out of position since they were not yet prepared for a one-setter system. Despite a good effort in this regard, the Lions fell 16-25.
Immediately after the first match, the Lions were up against the rumored festival favorite, the host AIS-Budapest Blazers. During the pre-game warm-up it was quite obvious the Lions would have their paws full with the Blazers who had at least three girls who moved about the court with high level prowess. The Lions did not back down, however, as they came together as a team, despite some playing out of position, calling the ball consistently while getting their serves in. This nailbiter was tied at 23-23 before the Blazers managed to win the final two points, handing the Lions their third straight set loss on the day.
In the second set of the best-of-three, the Lions looked tired after leaving it all on the court in the first set of these back-to-back tough match-ups. The Lions serves started to miss and the frustration started to set in, causing the Lions to make uncharacteristically easy mistakes on free balls. The Lions fell 6-25.
In the third and final match after a much needed two-hour break, the Lions were up against a weaker opponent in comparison to the last two teams. The new goal was to get one win on the day. However, the British International School of Bratislava had other plans and showed their defensive resilience, returning everything the Lions threw at them. Missed serves again left the Lions always playing catch-up, which they were never able to do in a 14-25 loss to a team they knew they should beat. The second set the Lions dug deep and managed to regain that chemistry they found against the Blazers in the first set. It was a back-and-forth battle with the Lions finding more consistency on the service line. However as the set drew close to the end with the Lions in the lead, the stubborn BISB squad kept the pressure on. The day of playing out of position started to boil over as frustrations came to a head and the Lions saw their lead slip away to a 25-27 loss.
On the plus-side, Emmalee only suffered a mild sprain and will be back in action soon. The Lions showed signs so far this year that they can play great together. Coach Burns is optimistic that with some practice and back in their normal positions, they can make a run at the championship on November 17th.
October 19th – Home game against Augsburg International School
The girls volleyball team was without Stela for this matchup which opened the door for more playing time for some less experienced girls. The Lions got off to a quick start and worked well as a team, winning the first set 25-18. In the second set, Augsburg pushed back as the Lions faltered on the service line, losing 25-16. Augsburg continued to rally as the Lions fell out of sink, losing the third set 25-11. In the fourth set the Lions rallied but fell short 27-25 in a nailbiter. The teams played a fifth set for fun but the Lions didn’t have any push left after leaving everything on the court in the fourth set, losing again by a score of 25-15.
November 17th – DVAC Varsity Girls Tournament
The Lady Lions wrapped up their season last weekend finishing 4th of 6 teams at the DVAC year-end tournament.
AISS defeated the two Bratislava teams while losing a nail-biter to ICS-Budapest. ICS Vienna and BIS Budapest proved to be too strong, defeating the Lions handily in their match-ups. The Lions were without their second setter, Emmalee J, and had to resort to a less familiar one-setter system causing the Lions to struggle to find their groove.
Eliza D. and Marina B. were the most consistent on the service line while Stela S. went on a 12 point serving streak, against Bratislava, with only a few serves that made their way back over the net. Both Eliza and Maddie T. had some big blocks while Teddy T. was a force on the court all tournament and was the sole setter throughout all five games. Dunja N. and Sonia G. both were both consistent off of the bench and beginner Renate G. toughed out a saw some action as well despite recovering from a finger injury.
Considering the Lions featured 3 beginners and one second year player, they faired well at the varsity level and are proud of their 4th place finish.