Brooke Fleming ’20 served an 8-0 lead in the fifth set, helping Andover secure a win at Choate on Saturday.
Andover won the first two sets 25-22 score each, lost the third and fourth set 15-25 and 18-25, respectively, but ended up winning the final set 15-8. On Wednesday, Andover added a victory against Nobles and Greenough, winning in three sets with scores of 25-22, 25-19, and 25-13 respectively. The team’s record now stands at 5-1-1.
According to Captain Serena Liu ’19, Andover’s high energy was key in the first two sets, but the team’s lack of energy in the next two sets brought the team to lose its lead and nearly lose the game as well. In the fifth set, however, the team played hard and clinched the victory.
“I think we had a lot of energy especially in the first and second sets. I think we lagged a little in the third and fourth sets. But right in the fifth set, we went back up and connected with all the hits again. The blocks especially up in the middle and the outsides,” said Liu.
Despite being on the road, Andover got a taste of home when Andover Girls Soccer made an appearance in the crowd during the fifth set, according to Fleming.
“[It] was really awesome for us to have a fan crowd away from our home gym. That really amped us up. That had a really big part in our win,” she said.
According to Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith and Fleming, Adaeze Izuegbunam ’20 and Chioma Ugwonali ’20 contributed heavily to the team’s success.
Coach Beckwith said, “Adaeze Izuegbunam played an outstanding middle hitter; although she was called touching the net a couple of times too often for our liking, she set a tone of aggression at the net that had them on their heels.”
“And we also had some great blocks by Chioma and Adaeze. We were just all over the net, blocking, putting it down which was really needed to give ourselves a break to reset,” continued Fleming.
According to Fleming, the team took crucial lessons from its scrimmage against Rivers on October 3.
“I remember from the Rivers scrimmage, we said that we wanted to apply the things we had worked on in practice a little bit more, that we hadn’t really incorporated into that match. So I saw us doing a lot of that, such as pushing balls deep and finding places where we could get balls on the floor,” said Fleming.
The team is looking forward to using some offensive combinations that it worked on in practice and to communicate more often, according to Liu and Delaney Arkell ’22.
Liu said, “We didn’t get to do [offensive combinations] on Saturday because we were still trying to work out and into the pace and we never got to the pace where we could set up for a combination play, but we are definitely gonna work on that.”
“I don’t think our team talked very well. Like when we were on the court, we should have communicated a lot better because it led to multiple people diving for the ball. We just didn’t communicate as well as we should’ve,” said Arkell.
The team is looking to do their best and take advantage of the mistakes of the other team, according to Coach Beckwith.
“By being the team we can be; control what we can control and have the confidence it will get us through. They are good, and they are as fallible as all teams are,” said Coach Beckwith.
Andover will face St. Paul’s on Friday.