On 3 November 2016, the UWCSEA Dover SEASAC Volleyball Girls journeyed to Bangkok Patana School in Bangkok, Thailand. With six other schools in the ring - including UWCSEA East - the Dover girls battled it out over a grueling three days.
Arriving on Thursday night, the first matches took place early the following morning. The day would see a contest between the Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDIS) and in the afternoon, against NIST and RIS. The girls started somewhat slowly, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against CDIS. Following this wake up call, morale increased for the fixture versus NIST. Although the girls narrowly lost 2-3, it was a much tougher affair, requiring five sets to decide the winner. For the last match of the day the girls took on RIS, the eventual tournament winners, but suffered a 3-0 loss.
The Dover girls hoped to improve upon their performances on the first day, and certainly did so. In the morning, the girls were matched up against NIST once again but this time emerged victorious with a straightforward 3-0 score line. The next opponents awaiting the girls were ISY, who were dispatched of with an identical result.
A semi-final rematch against RIS awaited the Dover girls. Unfortunately there were shades of the previous contest between the two teams, falling to a 3-0 defeat. The score line didn’t reflect the competitive nature of the game, each set a difficult one for the eventual champions. The Phoenix girls team pushed them to score lines of 25-21, 25-19, 25-23.
The last match of the tournament, an encounter between the girls and NIST, would determine the 3rd and 4th placed teams. The team gave it their all, the many in their final year were determined to leave with a medal. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. A 3-0 loss meant a spot in the top three would elude the girls this year.
All in all, the SEASAC weekend for the Dover volleyball girls had its series of ups and downs. But following a sluggish beginning to the tournament, they did well to pick themselves up on Saturday, earning two wins. Though they lost their semi-final match, they gave the tournament champions a tough battle which the girls can take many positives from. The girls left Bangkok with a very respectable 4th place finish - the upwards trajectory the team took through the course of the tournament and the way they played as a unit, is something each player can and should take pride in.