Firing a consecutive string of five unreturned serves, Fran Trautmann ’16 gave Andover a crucial advantage early in the first set. This streak proved to be the difference in Andover’s 25-21 victory in the first set against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH). Andover propelled itself to a 3-0 win at NMH, improving its record to 6-1.
At the beginning of a tight first set, Andover and NMH traded points, until Andover pulled away and built a 9-4 lead.
Later in the set, NMH rallied to tie the set at 18, but a late 7-3 run by Andover propelled it to a 25-21 victory in the first set.
Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16, Tiffany Bauman ’16 and Trautmann took control of the second set, rounding off six, seven and three service points, respectively.
“Quick plays and [efficient] passes really helped our team in our match against NMH,” said Co-Captain Annette Bell ’16.
Andover used strong communication and teamwork to maintain its offensive momentum throughout the second set.
“Our communication was good, which helped us, and our hits and serving [were] really strong,” wrote returner Janneke Evens ’18 in an email to The Phillipian.
Darcy Burnham ’18 secured points on myriad shots from the outside, finishing the second set with a dominant 25-14 victory for Andover.
“[Burnham] stepped in big on Saturday as an outside hitter,” said Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith.
Andover continued to dominate the offense in the final set. Strong set distribution from Bell locked in a win at 25-17. The final set sealed the 3-0 victory for Andover over NMH.
The team captured the road to victory in the absence of middle-hitters Evelyn Mesler ’17, Claudia Leopold ’18 and Sewon Park ’17. The three middle spots were successfully filled by Sydney Holder ’17, Sydney Baumgardt ’16 and Janneke Evans ’18 as Burnham moved to Evans’ normal position at outside hitter.
“Right off the bat, we were at a disadvantage, because we weren’t used to playing with such a different rotation. I’d say everyone really rose to the challenge, especially [Evans] and [Burnham]. Coming from the outside hitter position, [Evans] is already a major offensive force. [Burnham] hit strong, consistent shots on offense, and she picked up tons of tough balls, letting nothing drop,” said Shin.
Serena Liu ’19 continued, “It really highlighted how our team was able to adjust quickly and start to become more comfortable playing with each other on the court.”
Coach Beckwith highlighted the strength with which the team adjusted to player unfamiliarity, which was the primary obstacle for Andover this past Saturday.
“The big strength from Saturday was [definitely] the resilience of the team filling in for the missing 25 percent of our team,” said Beckwith.
Andover looks to take advantage of a week off to recover and prepare to host Choate on Saturday.