Senior Co-Captain Isaac Blackburn-Johnson ’18, with his impressive height and three years of experience on Andover Boys Varsity Volleyball, will be a force on the court this Spring Season.
“I play Middle Blocker (or Middle Hitter, in the words of anyone who’s ever played the position). Basically, you’re the tall-ish guy that runs from side to side in the front row, jumping and attempting to block incoming hits from the other team,” wrote Blackburn-Johnson in an email to The Phillipian.
As a player, some of Blackburn-Johnson’s strengths lie in skill and physical advantage, according to Ben Meyer ’18.
Meyer said, “He has an impressive ability to adapt to a ball in the air and he had great placement. His height is [a] colossal advantage and he has a great volleyball IQ”.
Blackburn-Johnson learned to play volleyball on the JV team when he arrived at Andover.
“I started playing volleyball at Andover during the Spring of my [Junior] year–I learned under the tutelage of Mr. Svec and Ms. Buckwalter in the JV program for most of [the] season, and since then I’ve been playing with [Head Coach] Clyfe [Beckwith] on the varsity team,” he said.
Part of what has kept Blackburn-Johnson on the team for so long is the closeness of the team.
“The dynamic of the team is something that keeps bringing me back year after year to the volleyball team, along with my love for the sport. The group is so inclusive and caring from the first moment one enters the team, and there exists this jovialness and calm acceptance of one another among players. The court is the space I most look forward to during a particularly stressful day, and my teammates are what make it that way,” he said.
Another major part of Blackburn-Johnson’s contribution to the team is his ability to work as part of a team.
Coach Beckwith said, “He is simultaneously one of the most compassionate and thoughtful teammates of the PAVB family.”
Teammate Rawit Assamongkol ’18 added, “I think the fact that we can call him ‘Isaac Blackburn PP’ and ‘J Johnson’ speaks to the fact that we know each other so well and he is such a great part of the team.”
Blackburn-Johnson will lead his team in 12 games and one tournament this season.