After Andover Girls Volleyball split the first four sets with Choate, Janneke Evans ’18 leapt into the air and spiked the ball into the opposite corner of the court to pull Andover ahead 11-10 in the fifth and final set of the match on Saturday. This critical point helped Andover secure the fifth set 15-13, clinching the game and bringing the team’s record to 7-1.
Starting off strong, Andover won the first set with a decisive score of 25-16. The team struggled to maintain its energy, losing the next two sets 20-25 and 23-25. It bounced back in the fourth quarter in its typical comeback fashion, winning 25-18 and proceeding to clinch the fifth set.
To finish its comeback, Andover relied heavily on its Co-Captains, Erica Shin ’16 and Annette Bell ’16. Shin’s powerful serve and strong defensive play enabled Andover to overcome its seven-point deficit in the fifth set.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “[Shin] saved the team with her exceptional serving in the fifth set, bringing the team back from a precipitous disadvantage of 3-10 back to a 9-10 score. She did that with well placed and consistent serves. [Shin] also made numerous trademark saves in the back row, keeping balls alive that anyone could have thought should be surefire winners for the other side.”
Bell steered the team to success with her perseverance, steady drive and leadership skills.
Shin said, “[Bell] was unbelievable on Saturday. Her determination to get to every ball, no matter how impossible it seemed, really saved us. She grounded the team with her drive. [Bell] is the mastermind on the court. She calls the plays, and she decides who to set the ball to or when to dump it over. When she’s on fire like she was on Saturday, our entire level of play is elevated.”
As a team, Andover exercised incredible mental strength to come back from its losses in the middle of the match.
Shin said, “We communicated and we picked each other up, and it was just awesome to really play as a team and see how that translates into success. Being able to come back from a slump the way we did in the last set has us feeling like we can take on anyone in the rest of the season.”
Bell added, “It was the best feeling in the world to come back from so far down. It was definitely one of our higher energy games this season so far. It’s nice to know that no matter what, we can come back. It’s a really great message for our team to carry throughout this season. It will really help push us in our coming games.”
Andover looks for another victory this Saturday when it travels to Dana Hall.
Editor’s Note: Erica Shin’17 is a Managing Editor of The Phillipian.