Boys Volleyball Wins Championship For First Time Since 1999; Seniors Kalter, Schwartz and Yao Lead PA to Undefeated Seasonv

Andover Boys Volleyball received contributions from every player on the roster as the team easily beat Loomis Chaffee in the semifinals of the Founding Four tournament. Andover beat Loomis 3-0 with scores in the three games of 30-22, 30-26 and 30-20. Every Andover player received even playing time as Andover attempted to conserve energy against Loomis to prepare for the finals match. Andover Captain Howie Kalter ’07 set the tone for a dominant team performance, serving nine straight points to open the first game. Andover dominated Loomis in the first game with a score of 30-22. Andover’s dominance continued in the next two games; the closest Loomis came was 30-26 in the second game, and Andover took the final with a score of 30-20 to beat Loomis 3-0. During this semi-finals match, Captain Alex Schwartz ’07 recorded seven kills and six digs while hitting 15 of 22 and serving 10 of 11. Kalter played a very strong game, as he tallied nine kills, an assist, three digs, and three aces. He also hit 20 of 22 and served 13 of 14. Brian Watson ’08 had three kills while hitting four of six, in addition to four stuffs as he blocked 14 of 14. Ekow Essel ’07 had five kills and three stuffs while blocking 10 of 10, and Alex Svec ’08 had 13 assists to lead the team. Andover then moved on to the finals against Choate, who beat NMH in its semifinal match. Peter Yao ’07 accumulated 40 assists while Kalter and Schwartz each had 17 kills. Andover defeated Choate 3-1 to win the 2007 Founding Four tournament with scores in the games of 30-20, 30-17, 19-30 and 30-27. Andover entered the game having beaten Choate twice during the season with scores of 3-0 and 3-1. Andover’s well-rested team opened the game by easily winning the first two games 30-20 and 30-17. Andover took the lead 16-10, looking to easily win the championship, but Choate managed to fight its way back into the game and tied the score at 16-16. Andover retook the lead at 19-16, but Choate took over the game, serving out the game 19-30 on 13 straight Choate points. With the momentum from the third game win, Choate made the first game close and was able to come back after Andover took a seven-point lead at 17-10. Choate tied the game at 24-24 trying to force a fifth game. However, Andover proved to be too strong; the team fended off the Choate attack and took the fourth game 30-27 to win the match 3-1 and the league championship. Several players, including Captains Kalter and Schwartz, added key performances in Andover’s victory. Kalter helped Andover with 17 kills and eight digs while hitting 38 of 42. He also took the majority of Andover’s serves, serving 27 of 30 with two aces. Schwartz also had 17 kills, along with 10 digs and two stuffs as he hit 32 of 41 and received 34 of 37. Brian Watson ’08 played deftly at the blocker spot, blocking 12 of 13 with seven stuffs. He also hit a perfect 22 of 22 with seven kills. Setter Yao had a team high of 40 assists. The win gave Andover its first league championship since the inauguration of Boys Volleyball at Andover in 1999. The outstanding team of six Seniors and four underclassmen completed an undefeated season of 13-0, including an 8-0 league record. Next year, Watson, Menelik Washington ’09, Svec and James McGuiness ’08 will return, aiming to defend Andover’s league championship title.