The start of November marks another closure to a season of sports.

Starting from the first week of school, fall sports tryouts were well on their way to select the best athletes for KIS’s fall sports: tennis, volleyball, and cross country. Athletes went through a grueling first week, working to outcompete others to make the final cut. Once the team rosters were finalized, athletes committed to daily after-school practices except for Mondays. Practices for volleyball and cross country started as soon as school to end just a bit past 5 PM. Unfortunately for tennis, because the “home” courts were located off campus, practices usually ended much earlier – around 4:45.

Once all three sports were 2 weeks into their practices, athletes attended their first game which continues until the KAIAC tournament in which all teams compete with each other in their respective league. For the varsity teams, selected members are given the opportunity to participate in additional tournaments that are usually held overseas.  Varsity cross country and volleyball athletes alternate years hosting the AISA tournament or competing in Japan. For tennis, athletes travel abroad to the International School of Beijing (ISB) to participate in the Dragon Tournament.

With fall sports having their final week of practice just over a week ago, here’s how they have finished their seasons:

  • The junior varsity volleyball teams placed 5th place
  • The varsity girls volleyball team placed 5th in the KAIAC conference, 4th in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys volleyball team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 5th in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity girls cross country team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 1st in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The boys cross country team placed 2nd in the KAIAC conference, 2nd in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 3rd in the Dragon Tournament
  • The varsity girls tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the Dragon Tournament

The final event on the list for all sports was the banquet in which coaches present accolades for each team: the Most Valuable Player award, Most Improved Player award, and the Coach’s Award. The cross country held their own banquet separately, as they usually do, due to the large number of cross-country athletes. The banquet for the tennis and volleyball teams was held the next day. As each sports team was called up, the coaches recognized the athletes and presented the awards to the most exceptional athletes. The banquet was emotional for coaches and athletes especially when senior athletes were recognized for their final year. Following the tradition, the managers for each team presented a video of the highlights of the season in which the athletes were able to celebrate their final moments of the season.

Sports have been an imperative constituent of the numerous extracurricular activities that are offered in KIS. KIS highly values sports and the profound benefits of sports, and for good reason.

Having been involved in the tennis team since my freshman year, I cherish the memories I’ve made through the team over the past few years. I was able to bond with student-athletes and sports managers I most likely wouldn’t have even talked to if it were not for my involvement on the tennis team. Luckily this year, as members of each grade level was on the members of the tennis team, I was able to meet various freshmen and sophomores. I’ve also befriended students from other schools whom I have met during various games or the Dragon tournament. From traveling abroad and eating amazing food to simply cheering on our teammates, all of the experiences have been a joy. All the team dinners, always followed by noraebangs sessions, were always fun too. Even if we didn’t come out victorious, sport teams are great because they act as a great stress-reliever and an amazing way of sharing memories with fellow teammates.

Here some students’ responses when I asked them what they like being on their sports team:

Playing tennis on the team for the past years have helped me let off stress in the times that I needed most. More importantly, the team has helped me bond and be a part of a new family.
-Diane Kim (Captain of Varsity Girls Tennis) (’19)

After injuring myself playing basketball, I gave a volleyball a try. After playing for a while, I began to love the sport and be good at it which allowed me to participate on the volleyball team for the 4th year. I also love the friends I have made while being on the team; overall, I just love the sport so, so much.
-Richard Chung (’19)

– Andy Kim (’20)

Featured Image: Eliot Yun (’19)