The Andover Girls Volleyball team beat Loomis three games to one, 30-13, 30-7, 28-30 and 30-24 Saturday, and pounded St.Paul’s in three straight games on their home court Wednesday 30-16, 30-14 and 30-20. The Big Blue went into both games expecting tough competition, but both times came out on top. Against Loomis the score was tied for the first few points of the first game, but then Andover took a decisive lead of two games to none. Following that, Coach Beckwith put the second string in to get some court time. The girls played well but in the end lost the game to Loomis by two points. The starters came back off the bench for the fourth game and started a bit rusty but quickly got their game together to close the afternoon. During that game, Cassie Tognoni ’05 had eight kills, Lauren Cantwell ’05 had eight kills and eight assists, Megan Winn ’05 had 10 assists, and Claire Fox ’06 had 12 aces, serving 32 of 33. Coach Beckwith said, “In the end, Andover came out ahead because the team played well in every area: defense, communication, and offense.” Andover especially impressed their coach and the spectators with hard hits, beautiful saves, and good hustle while serving more than eight aces per game. On Wednesday, Andover hosted St. Paul’s, proving that they have already improved since the start of the season. Two weeks ago at the preseason scrimmage, St. Paul’s looked good and scored more points than Andover. This time, however, Andover was focused on winning, and was by far the better of the two teams. The hitting was precise, the communication clear, and the energy high as Andover won with ease. Said Coach Beckwith, “To be honest I was a little surprised at how easily we won, because I expected St. Paul’s to be a more difficult team to beat. ” Impressive individual performances were Tognoni’s five kills in her two games, Jackie Price ’06 with four kills through two games, and Gretchen Berns ’05 with four kills in three games. Fox had nine aces in three games and Cantwell served five aces during two games played. Said Tognoni, “Our hits have become a lot harder since the beginning of the season. The team has really started to coalesce and our setters are really putting the sets where our hitters want. With more time, it can only get better.” The girls will take on Taft Saturday. Said Coach Beckwith, “Andover played Taft in the finals of last season’s championship for a 3-2 win in an competitive game. Since Taft supposedly only graduated one Senior starter from last year’s team, they are sure to be a formidable opponent again.”
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