An Unexpected but Heroic Victory for the BIM Volleyball Team


The BASIS Independent McLean volleyball team won the Independent Small School Athletic Conference (ISSAC) league championship. In an unexpected turn of events, we won the last three sets in a row after the undefeated French International School team won the first two sets. 

When asked about the best part of the season, besides winning the championship, the team unanimously said it had to be their improvement at volleyball. During the last two years, many student athletes were unable to practice their sport in a competitive setting due to the pandemic. There was also another glaring issue at the beginning of the season: many of the members of the volleyball team had never played volleyball, let alone competitively.

“Throughout the season, I had the opportunity to learn a new sport that was, admittedly, way outside my comfort zone,” says Shalini S. “An example of this is how Andrew and I finally figured out how to coordinate my set with his spike. It took a while to figure out, but when we eventually did, we were able to use it quite effectively against the French team during the finals.”

In the standard volleyball game, you have to win three out of the five sets in order to win the game; each set is played till 25 points. So in the days leading up to the match, the question of “Do you think we will win the championships?”, would undoubtedly prompt a chorus of immediate “no’s” from the team. 

“I really thought that we were going to lose that game,” says Zane X., a sophomore on the volleyball team. “We were undefeated at the beginning of the year, all the way until [we played] the French [International School] team, when we lost 3-0 in a home game,” Zane recounts. “The energy in the first French game wasn’t there, especially after an intense game with the British [International School] team the Thursday before. This just led to more pressure before our final game and I did not think we could do it.” 

Zane wasn’t the only doubtful player on the team. Thijs B., a sophomore on the team, said “I did not expect the game to last long at all, and so I scheduled a driving lesson after the game thinking it would be a quick 0-3 loss.”

At first, it seemed that the team’s prediction was right; with the French team winning the first two sets, the possibility of winning 3 sets in a row was extremely low. The only positive about the score (0-2) at the beginning of the third set was that “we had nothing to lose so we just gave it our all”, in the words of Sonja B., a senior on the team. With a close game of 25-22, the BASIS volleyball team managed to secure the third set. 

Paulina H., a sophomore and the team captain, reflects “by this point, I was way too exhausted. I remember Shalini coming up to me after winning that set and saying ‘you have to act excited.’” 

Spurred on by the momentum gained from finally winning a set against the French team, Paulina led the BASIS volleyball team to another set victory. By now the tension was palpable; the undefeated French team had never been taken to a 2-2 game. 

The final set that determined the champions of the ISSAC league was a game of 15 points. The team’s track record throughout the game had not been great. In the first two sets, BIM had lost the lead and could not tie up the score. At the start of the third and fourth sets, the BIM team and the French team were scrambling for the most points. The BIM volleyball team slowly took the lead towards the latter half of the sets. When the fifth set started, the teams went back and forth for the first four points, but then BASIS began to pull ahead. After an excruciatingly close six points, BASIS finally reached a comfortable lead. With their newfound momentum and confidence, the team easily took the remaining five points that stood between them and the championship.

This historic victory would not have been possible without the dedication and support from the coaches, Dr. Isquith and Mr. Ramsby, and the team would like to thank them once more for their help in leading the team to victory. 

What really led us to your big win was the overall improvement of the team from working with one. Once again, it was a team effort and the sense of community we built with one another that allowed us to return victorious.