Leaping up above the net for a block, Ben Meyer-Idzik ’18 knocked the ball back over the net to secure a point in the second set against Wilbraham & Monson. Andover Boys Volleyball went on to defeat Wilbraham with a 3-0 on Saturday, but fell 0-3 to Phillips Exeter Academy on Wednesday, bringing its record to 1-1.
In its official season opener, Andover utilized the matchup against a weaker Wilbraham as an opportunity to try new team rotations on the court and implement newcomers into the lineup.
Co-Captain Austin Tuan ’17 said, “Wilbraham is not the strongest team in our league, we have a few new players on the team so we wanted to rotate them in one by one into different positions to see how they worked with other members of the team on the court and maybe what positions we could have them play in future games. It was just a good opportunity for us to figure out on our own side, the chemistry, the communication, things that we can work on amongst each other.”
Early into the game, Andover set the tone and played to its own style, settling into a rhythm that allowed the team to play to its strengths.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith wrote, “The team managed to maintain their own rhythm rather than playing the rhythm set by the opponent which helped us make our designed plays. Whenever the team started to get lulled into the opponent’s rhythm we were playing out of sync with ourselves, and even there, the core group made good adjustment plays — playing as much with brains as with brawn.”
However, according to its teammates, Andover lacked consistency during its game against Exeter on Wednesday. The team struggled to play with the same rhythm and confidence from the game against Wilbraham, and it failed to win a single set against Exeter.
Rawit Assamongkol ’18 said, “A big factor of that [loss] was silly mistakes we made: missing serves, not communicating enough on the court, not knowing who was going to get which ball, but also because Exeter’s team is a lot more coherent than ours, meaning that they’ve been together for three years already, this is their fourth year, and we’re really just a new team.”
Going forward, the team looks to increase its communication and serving while minimizing its mistakes on the court, according to its teammates.
Tuan said, “[We definitely need to improve on] serving. We served decently against Wilbraham, but we definitely need to be more consistent with our serves; we need to be more intentional with where we’re serving, how we’re serving, who we’re serving against, and things like that.”
Beckwith wrote, “The starting rotation has gelled nicely; still not at peak performance as far as timing with each other and still not at peak performance with individual skills and yet much farther along on that scale than could have been expected at this point in the season.”
The team looks to rebound from the loss against Exeter during its home game against Choate this Saturday.