Volleyball Finishes Undefeated; Dominates First Round of Playoffs

The Andover Girls Volleyball team remains undefeated after its victories over Exeter on Saturday and St. Paul’s on Wednesday. Andover had to deal with nerves going into the Exeter game, with the memory of last year’s loss fresh in mind. The absence of starting setter Melissa Yan ’10 forced Andover to work with a new line-up. Despite uncharacteristic service and net errors and a sometimes unruly crowd of spectators, Andover emerged the victor after three sets of pure determination. During set one, Andover got off to a shaky start. Exeter started with the serve and quickly gained a three point lead at 3-0. Jamie Shenk ’12 stepped up to the service line to serve four times after a side-out to give Andover a brief lead at 5-3. Exeter then broke away from Andover, taking a five point lead at 18-13. Andover, however, was ruthless in both its offense and defense and got back into the swing of the game, letting Exeter have only three side-out points. Andover won the set 25-21. As the match went on, the Andover team played even better. In set two, Andover took the lead from the very beginning and never relinquished it. At one point, Exeter trailed Andover by 10 points at 20-10. The opposing team only had six service points for the entire set. Andover convincingly asserted its dominance on the court, with a final score of 25-17, bringing the match to 2-0. In the third set, Andover immediately took a seven point lead at 13-6, but the Exeter team displayed its never-die attitude and fought hard to bring the score back up to a 16-16 tie. Rising to the challenge, Andover managed to gain the lead at 20-17, but Exeter again brought the score to a tie at 22-22. The game went over 25 points because the winning team had to win by two points. Twice Andover had the advantage, at 24-23 and 26-25, and twice Andover was thwarted by Exeter. Exeter even took the advantage at 27-28, but Andover secured the side-out point and served two more to win the match 30-28 and the game 3-0. This Wednesday, Andover hosted St. Paul’s for the league quarterfinals. Andover won decisively, and the final scores of the three sets were 25-11, 25-14, and 25-16, respectively. St. Paul’s never got more than six service points each set. Set one saw a tie at 6-6, but Yan brought the score up with three service points, followed by four service points from Meghan McCafferty ’10 and six service points from Shenk. During set 2, Cristina Mommsen ’09 had three and four consecutive service points after St. Paul’s brought the score to within three points at 9-12. Andover took the lead at 9-6, but St. Paul’s soon caught up to take the lead for the first time at 10-11. St. Paul’s was no match for Yan’s and Captain Isabelle Engelsted’s ’09 serves, however. The Andover team has a great shot at winning the title this year. It is currently the top seed for its league as the only undefeated team. Andover will advance to the semifinals, with a match at Loomis next Saturday against the winner of the Exeter/Deerfield match.