Volleyball Ends Season In Dramatic Loss

Andover swept Exeter 3-0 in the semifinals of the NEPSGVA tournament this Saturday, which took place in Windsor, Connecticut. Andover fell to an impressive Hotchkiss team in the championship match, however, taking home second place after losing their first match of the season. The final four teams that qualified for the championship tournament were Andover, Exeter, Hotchkiss and Loomis. The team, who entered the tournament with an undefeated regular season, came out strong against Exeter. Andover was able to defeat Exeter in three sets, holding off the Exeter attack quite successfully. The final scores of the three sets were 25-12, 25-12 and 25-18, respectfully. Andover then played Hotchkiss in the final game of the tournament, who were the victors of the other semifinal round against Loomis 3-1. The game was a true representation of the top two teams in the league, as the single Hotchkiss loss in its season came against Andover. Despite Andover’s fiery determination to take the title this year, Hotchkiss repeated last year’s display of finesse and emerged the champion. During set one of the match, which Clyfe Beckwith referred to as “a battle of epic proportions,” Andover started off strong, and Hotchkiss only scored a total of six service points. The Andover squad only had four service points, with Hotchkiss leading slightly by one point at 12-11, but Andover gained five straight service points by two consecutive serves. The first set was won decisively by Andover, with a score of 25-16. Set two was in many ways the turning point of the match. Hotchkiss went up by ten points at 3-13 after only three rotations. Andover responded with an amazing comeback, however, bringing the score to a tie at 18-18 after four more rotations. The score was tied twice more at 21-21 and 22-22. Then, Andover went ahead to 24-22 for the first of five overtime points that Hotchkiss defended and overcame. Hotchkiss won the incredible set 29-27. With the score tied at one set apiece, Hotchkiss settled into a rhythm that Andover could not match. With only four service points in set three, Andover fell to Hotchkiss once again. The final score was 15-25. Andover had to get out of a sticky situation during set four, with Hotchkiss at an early lead of 3-9. The Andover team never gave up, however, managing to bring the score to a tie at 16-16. The back-and-forth game continued as the relentless Hotchkiss squad went ahead 19-16. Andover then staged yet another comeback, taking the lead at 20-19. Hotchkiss tied the score at 20-20 and then scored three more points to go ahead 23-20. Andover brought the score up once more and needed a mere two points to go to a fifth game. But the game—and the terrific season—fell out of reach when Hotchkiss served out the set and the match, winning 25-23 and taking vengeance on their only loss earlier during the season. “We had a great season overall,” said Captain Isabelle Engelsted ’09. “The game against Hotchkiss was a little different. We came out strong, but Hotchkiss came out stronger. They are a good team and proved to be the better team that day.” The team finished with a perfect regular season record, recorded two wins over archrival Exeter, earned the number one seed going into the tournament, and took second place in the post-season championship. Although the Andover team came up inches short for this weekend’s tournament, its season has clearly been a resounding success.