With the swift movement of his racket, first seed Alex Bernhard ’19 deftly placed a drop shot into the front of the court just inches out of his opponent’s reach to claim an 11-0 victory in his set against his Middlesex opponent. Bernhard went on to win his match and led Andover to a 7-0 sweep on Saturday.
The team’s victory against Middlesex was preceded by a crushing 7-0 loss against Groton the day before, Andover’s third consecutive 7-0 loss. Determined to snap its losing streak, Andover defeated Middlesex on Saturday and then swept St. Mark’s 7-0 on Wednesday to bring its record to 3-4.
Captain and second seed Jack Quamme ’16 said, “Going into our match against Middlesex, I just think everyone got tired of losing. We knew that it was a good opportunity to bounce back and we did that pretty decisively on Saturday and we continued that [on Wednesday].”
Buoyed by confidence after its 7-0 win against Middlesex, Andover won not only every single match, but every single set against St. Mark’s, as every player earned a 3-0 victory.
Third seed Ishaan Patel ’18 said, “The bottom of our ladder has gotten a ton stronger just in the past two weeks of practice. We’re fairly young and inexperienced, so we’re working on our deep game and the fundamentals.”
To prepare for both Middlesex and St. Marks, Andover practiced a variety of serves to gain an extra edge over their opponents.
Quamme said, “We’ve been working on different types of serves to catch the opponent off-guard. If you can start every point on the right foot, the matches get a lot easier and that’s something I think everyone has done a good job with.”
Andover’s 7-0 loss against Groton the week before motivated the team to improve its play. Despite the defeat, the players kept their heads high and were only focused on improvement.
Fourth seed Jerry Yang ’17 said, “Even though we lost 7-0, I think we can play a competitive match against this team if we play them again in the future. Jack, Ishaan and I all got one game off of our opponents after adjusting to the different court, and I think there was definitely room to perform better.”
After the two emphatic victories this week, the team feels confident heading into the rest of the season.
Quamme said, “Looking forward, things are picking up. We have Tabor this Saturday and we’re looking forward to that as another chance to pick up a win. We’re just trying to continue what we’re doing. Keep on winning, and keep on doing our thing.”
Alex Bernhard ’19 said, “I feel pretty confident. We’ve got a little more experience under our belt than at the beginning, and I think that’ll really show up in our later matches.”
Andover hopes to ride its momentum to a third straight victory against Tabor this Saturday.