With eight new players added to its roster, Andover Volleyball hopes to harness this young talent and build on its successful 15-3 2015 season. The team looks to surpass its New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) semifinal finish from last year.
Following the tournament, where the team fell to the eventual champions Phillips Exeter Academy, Andover graduated six strong Seniors who had a great impact on the 2015 season.
Andover will miss Co-Captain setter Annette Bell ’16, a key contributor to last year’s post season push. To replace her, two young setters, Anna Faliero ’18 and Brook Fleming ’20, will bolster Andover’s roster.
Despite the losses of Bell and her former Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16, many players are looking to step into leadership roles.
The team will be captained by Evelyn Mesler ’17 for the 2016 season. Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “She is a role model in effort, enthusiasm, friendliness, and working at getting better as a team first.”
As the season unfolds, the team hopes to build strong chemistry. Mesler said, “This year we are hoping to develop synchronicity through practices so we can play as a team come games. This team is full of new players, so it’s important we develop a sense of each other on the court. If we do that I know we can do really well this season.
Mesler pairs with returning starter Janneke Evans ’18 to form a lethal tandem up front blocking, and both have shown the potential to rise up for spikes as well. Additionally, Post-Graduate (PG) Margot Forti ’17, sister of former Andover football and basketball stalwart PG Nick Forti ’15, has been tenacious in practices at the net thus far.
Andover will look to build a bond early and ride strong team chemistry to the playoffs.
“The most important part of the season will be our first two weeks together, including both practices and games. These first few weeks will set the tone for the rest of the season, and we hope to have a coherent team and start off our season strong so we can carry that momentum all the way to the tournament in November,” said Evans.
On Wednesday, Andover opened its season with a 3-1 win against BB&N. The team looks to ride its momentum into a tripleheader against Taft, Exeter, and Hotchkiss this weekend.