Volleyball Takes NMH, Taft, St. Mark’s; Offensive Power Leads PA to Three Wins

Last Saturday, the Girls Varsity Volleyball team traveled to NMH for a tri-meet against NMH and Taft. Andover did away with NMH in straight sets, 30-24 and 30-22, but was forced to play a third game against Taft, eventually coming out victorious, 18-30, 30-23, and 15-12. On Wednesday, Andover hosted a strong North Reading squad, pulling out a relatively routine win, 3-1. For the tri-meet, the teams played each other once in a best of three-game set, each game to 30. In the final game of both matches, Cassidy Carpenter ’07 served up seven consecutive points, which closed the deal in the game against NMH and shot Andover out to a 7-0 lead against Taft. The first NMH game on Saturday was close at the outset with Andover and NMH trading points in the early stages until Caroline Levin ’06 finally gave Andover some breathing room at 16-11 with seven consecutive serves. With some great offense, Andover easily won the first game, but not decisively enough to feel comfortable substituting in the second team for game two. The starters dug themselves into a 0-8 hole at the beginning of the second game but, with five consecutive serves from Sarah Thomas ’06, Andover gained a 14-10 lead. NMH tied it up at 18-18, but as soon as Andover got back into its groove, Carpenter served seven straight points to secure the game and the match for Andover. Captain Jackie Price ’06 and Claire Fox ’06 led the team in the opening match with seven kills each, Captain Price hitting 16 for 18 and Fox nine for 11. Carpenter led the team in aces with five while serving 18 for 19. Captain Price and Thomas each had three aces. Thomas led the team with three stuff blocks while blocking five for seven. Next was Taft, a team which has developed into one of Andover’s primary rivals, beating the team once last year and in the 2002 league quarterfinal, but losing to Andover in the 2003 final into which both teams entered undefeated. Taft came out strong in the first game, crushing Andover 30-18. Andover, however, regained its composure and leveled the match with a second set win of 30-23 with Captain Price serving for 11 of the 30 points. The third and final set, this one to 15, started with Carpenter serving seven straight points to put Andover out to an early advantage which it would not relinquish despite a three-point serving streak put on by Taft’s number one. Captain Price again led the team with six kills, hitting 16 for 17. She also led the team in aces, serving up three of them on 17 of 19 serves. Captain Price, Fox, Thomas, and Atima Lui ’08 each had one stuff, with Fox going six for eight blocking and Thomas four for four. The first game against North Reading on Wednesday went smoothly with Andover winning by eight, 30-22. The next game went to North Reading, 32-30. The Andover women bounced back, however, and took the next two games, 30-19 and 30-22, with some of the second squad seeing play in the last game. Captain Price had a big game with nine kills. Fox recorded six stuff blocks and Thomas had four. Thomas also led the team with four aces. Levin played an important role in the first game by serving nine straight points to bring Andover back into the game after falling behind early