There are a lot of things that can go wrong throughout an entire volleyball season. Players get sick, teammates get injured and opponents can prove too formidable. None of these normal ailments that cripple most teams, however, seemed to distract Captain Isabelle Engelsted ’09 and the Andover Volleyball team in their dogged pursuit of an undefeated 2008 regular season. With her constant leadership and terrific play, Engelsted is a Phillipian Sports Athlete of the Term. None of Andover’s success this season would have been possible without the brilliant leadership displayed by Engelsted on and off the court. Andover achieved its goal of a perfect regular season in a final triumph over Exeter, 3-0, to finish off the year at 14-0. In the NEPSGVA Tournament, Andover beat Exeter yet again in the semifinals before falling to a strong Hotchkiss squad in the championship game for a second-place finish. According to Engelsted, team chemistry was the key to Andover’s incredible season. “We all got along on and off the court,” she said. “From the very start, we came together as a team and never looked back.” Ask any teammate, and they will all say the same thing: no one was more responsible for this flawless team chemistry than Engelsted. In preseason, she helped unite her team toward success. “Isabelle really took me under her wing and made me feel comfortable in the new environment with new people and coaches,” said Jamie Shenk ’12. “Without Isabelle, our team most likely wouldn’t have gelled together as quickly.” Melissa Yan ’10, who has played with Engelsted for the past two seasons, also confirmed Engelsted’s crucial presence on the team. “Isabelle always has something constructive to say to pump up the team,” said Yan. “Our team worked well together because of her. She was the glue of our team. Without her, practice just felt different.” Apart from her talent for bringing together her teammates, Engelsted also flourished in leading by example. With a sharp serve and constant awareness on the court, Engelsted showed her skills as a player as well as a leader. “On the court Isabelle is a great player,” said Viola Rothschild ’10. “She always plays smart, and she is incredibly versatile, hitting opposite and serving as an impromptu setter during Andover/Exeter.” Engelsted was clearly the leader of the team, but she also received great support from Cristina Mommsen ’09. Both Mommsen and Englested were two of the most dominating players in New England throughout the season. They both played unbelievably together and had an innate ability to find each other on the floor. Mommsen was also key in her leadership roles with the team. She constantly motivated the squad through every practice and every point of each match. The memory that sticks out most to Engelsted was not a personal accomplishment, however, but a moment of pride for her team. Andover worked hard all week in anticipation for a big midseason match-up against Hotchkiss, the defending league champions. The game was similarly hard-fought, and Andover prevailed with a resounding 3-1 victory. “I just remember the moment we finally beat them,” said Engelsted. “After our preparation all week, the moment we beat them was incredibly satisfying.” Engelsted exhibited some of her best play in the Hotchkiss victory, as she recorded 15 service points on the day. Another season highlight for Engelsted occurred during the Deerfield game, where she nailed down nine kills in front of a packed crowd on Parents’ Weekend. It was moments like these that became commonplace for Engelsted and the Andover team. Despite Andover’s championship game loss, Andover’s undefeated regular season will stand in the history books. Even with a strong nucleus of players set to return in 2009, it will not be easy for Andover to replace the steady leadership and tremendous backcourt serving provided by Engelsted.