Volleyball Sweeps Choate, Continues Undefeated Campaign; Post-Graduate Joyce-Mendive ’07 Leads Team With Sixteen Kills

The Phillips Academy volleyball team is still undefeated after last week’s game against Choate Rosemary Hall. Andover swept the Wild Boars with scores of 30-16, 30-27 and 30-22. The Big Blue record now stands at a very respectable 5-0-0. The first game started out poorly, with Choate’s number 12 serving four straight serves. Immediately after this streak, however, the tables turned when Dawson Joyce-Mendive ‘07 tossed up nine spectacular jump serves, and all was right with the world. Her serves set the tone for the rest of this game, with hard-hit serves and balls saved just in time. Sarah Beattie ’08, Atima Lui ’08, and Joyce-Mendive killed three, three, and six times respectively during this exciting game. During the second game, the biggest battle was fought and won. Before either of the teams had even reached nine points, the game had been tied four times. Around then, Andover worked a little harder and bolstered its lead to 19-15, but then Choate tied the game and surpassed Andover with a score of 23-27. Through six stellar serves from Captain Cassidy Carpenter, Andover reclaimed the lead. In the third game, Choate had only managed to gain two points before Big Blue became filled with determination and began a resolute attack against them. Joyce-Mendive served her team ahead to a 4-2 lead which was never lost after that point. Isabelle Engelsted ’09 then said, “Let there be five unanswered serves to fortify our lead,” and it was so. Melissa Yan ‘10 repeated the action and further strengthened the lead with four serves, giving her team a 20-10 advantage. Overall, Joyce-Mendive headed the team’s kill count with 16, hit 16 of 20, served 24 for 27, seven of which were aces, and blocked three out of three. Captain Carpenter made 33 assists, three aces, and served 15 of 16. On the whole, the team’s statistics were some of the best of the season. Coach Beckwith is very proud of his girls for their resolve and conditioning. That does not, however, mean that they have quite reached perfection. According to him, the team still needs to work on speeding up their attacks, maintaining consistency of hard and effective serves, and lining up the defense in the best possible way. Also, they are working on communicating between defense and offense prior to the ball being served and, of course, giving each other random hugs, which will certainly improve the team’s morale. The Andover volleyball team has taken an idea from Choate’s book and has decided to choose an honorary coach for their games. Ms. Mallick has been the first elected to fill the position. She will join the team in all aspects of the game except playing. Expect to see her joining in the group huddles, sitting on the bench with them, and becoming one of the many voices in the cheers. The team did not have a game this Wednesday, and they will travel to New Hampton on Saturday with the hopes of continuing their winning streak.