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Schoolwide Pride as Dragons Bring Home MRISA Championships!

Schoolwide Pride as Dragons Bring Home MRISA Championships!
Tanya Olander

Dragons beamed with pride as our Boys’ and Girls’ Jr. Basketball and Sr. Volleyball teams brought home four MRISA championships on our home courts! 

At the start of the MRISA tournaments, which ran from November 17 - 19, music from our Tri-M music club filled the air as nearly 250 athletes from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos gathered on our Plaza. For the first time since 2018 SSIS was hosting MRISA, making it a particularly special occasion. 

Our excited SSIS Girls and Boys Sr. Volleyball teams at the start of the tournament weekend.

First School in MRISA History...

Not only, however, did we host the first tournaments in several years, but we became the first school in the Mekong River International School Association’s history to ever host a simultaneous double tournament - Sr. Volleyball and Jr. Basketball at the same time! 

Making sure to give the participating teams a warm Dragon welcome, faculty, staff, and students gathered along our halls and pathways to cheer on all of the participating teams in the welcoming Parade of Athletes.

The six teams were met with a warm Dragon-welcome during the Parade of Athletes led by SSIS fourth-graders who carried the team banners.

“It was wonderful to see how our community came together to make MRISA such a huge success,” says Athletic Director and MRISA organizer Elizabeth Davenport. “Our Athletic Council did an amazing job leading the opening & closing ceremonies and supervising the gyms, our Tri-M music club performed for our Parade of Athletes, our PTA & HS Clubs sold food, and students and parents from all grades came to cheer on teams! You could feel the great sense of community in the air!”

Dragon Support Does the Trick!

And that feeling was felt by our players. Just days before the tournament, our Girls' Jr. Basketball team placed 4th in the Saigon International Schools Athletic Conference (SISAC). However, inspired by the cheers and support from the community, they not only won their first MRISA game but managed to score more points than in any game of their entire city league season!

Our Girls Jr. Basketball fought valiantly, bringing home the MRISA championship!

The Girls Jr. Basketball team was not the only team to dazzle the courts. In an incredible feat of sportsmanship and skill, all four of our teams remained undefeated in the tournament. Yes, that’s right - each of the SSIS MRISA teams: Girls Sr. Volleyball, Girls Jr. Basketball, Boys Sr. Volleyball, and Boys Jr. Basketball, brought home championship trophies during the historical double tournament. Our hearts certainly swelled with pride for our players and coaches (Chris Sylvester - Girls Sr. Volleyball, Brian Benck & Conrad Gaira - Girls Jr. Basketball, Greg Jardin - Boys Sr. Volleyball, and Andrew Ward - Boys Jr. Basketball).

Unstoppable Boys Jr. Basketball also brought home the MRISA championship trophy.

To make sure that everyone could participate in the excitement of the historical tournament, SSIS had four live streams going. From Russia to South America and the United States, people across the world tuned in to follow the players - one volleyball game getting as many as 2,000 simultaneous viewers. 2,000!!

We couldn't be prouder of all the participating athletes and our entire SSIS community for turning out online and on campus to make this year's MRISA an unforgettable event! You can view all of the final results here.

Thank you to Athletics Director Elizabeth Davenport who contributed to this article.

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