Claudia Leopold ’18 earned four consecutive service points in the front and back rows against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday, allowing Andover Girls Volleyball to pull away with a 25-18 win in the first set. Leopold’s performance set the tone for Andover’s 3-1 victory. On Wednesday, Andover fell to Noble and Greenough 3-1, dropping its season record to 6-5.
Andover’s new serve-receive strategy proved to be a major advantage. It allowed players to receive more effectively and move more freely, creating better flexibility on the court and a stronger defense.
Serena Liu ’19 said, “We tried a new defense during serve-receive, which is a two-person defense where there are only two people passing in the back, and that really helped us gain momentum and keep [having] good passes to the center so we can set up a play for our hitters.”
Captain Evelyn Mesler ’17 said, “We had pretty consistent serves. Our hitting was solid, because we had better passing. The passing was integral to the NMH game.”
After winning the second set 25-14, Andover’s energy began to wane. The team ultimately lost the third set 25-20. However, Andover regained its composure and went on to win the fourth set 25-20, finalizing the overall victory.
Against Nobles, Andover started the match strongly, but its composure and energy faded as the second, third, and fourth sets challenged the team.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “Today we had some doubt creep in, which made us hesitant, a little slower. We did really well in the first set because we were meshing, we were together, in the second, one or two things didn’t go so well, we let it affect the rest of the play.”
Despite winning the first set 25-15, Andover could not keep up with its opponents’ strong blocking, and ultimately lost the second, third, and fourth sets, with scores of 25-20, 25-18, and 25-19, respectively.
Mesler said, “Nobles was a team that I think we came in feeling confident about and feeling that we did have a chance at beating them, which was to our detriment in the end.”
“We beat them pretty soundly in the first [set], got a little too confident, let our guard down in the second [set], and then struggled getting back up and staying competitive in the third and the fourth,” continued Mesler.
Andover hopes to improve its skill and fix its mistakes going into the New England Championships and its upcoming games.
Andover will play Deerfield at home this Saturday.