Co-Captains Washington ’09 and Burwell ’09 Lead Team to First Win

Coming off a disappointing loss against NMH last Saturday, the Andover Volleyball team hosted Wilbraham-Monson on Wednesday and successfully won all matches totaling a shoot-out score of 3-0 for the team’s first victory of the season. In just the second game of its season, Andover hosted Wilbraham-Monson Academy, a new addition to Andover’s schedule this year and the first time the two teams have met. The game started off slowly due to a new rotation format, and there were a number of service mistakes and net calls that interrupted the flow of the game. But once the game found a steady rhythm, Andover quickly dominated. The team won the first match with score of 25-17. In the second match, Andover made a number of outstanding individual saves contributed by the entire Andover team, as Andover won the second set, 25-16. In the third game, Coach Clyfe Beckwith tried many different substitutions and allowed all team member to contribute to Wednesday’s victorious outcome. All players exhibited quality serving and hard hitting to help Andover to an easy 25-14 final set victory. Prior to Wednesday’s victory, Andover headed to Northfield Mount Hermon for a rivalry match against last year’s New England champions. As Coach Clyfe Beckwith put it, “Andover’s team adjusting to new positions and compensating for nerves in the season-opener gave NMH the upper hand.” Co-Captain Menelik Washington ’09 attacked the ball with four successful kills in the game. He also hit a grand total of 12 out of 16. Co-Captain Sam Burwell ’09 served 17 of 18 balls, five of which were consecutive aces, to NMH’s defense. Other Andover leaders from Saturday’s match include newcomer Peter Bang ’11, who blocked four of six hits. Christian Anderson ’09 was also a strong contributor in Andover’s effort, playing the back court in the libero position. He received 17 of 19 hard serves from NMH. Overall, Andover faced a defeating score of 0-3, but the strong team play and effort was evident throughout and poured over into Wednesday’s win against Wilbraham-Monson. The Boys Volleyball team hopes to continue to improve its season record of 1-1 on this Saturday, when Andover faces off against Choate Rosemary Hall. Last year, Andover fell victim to Choate in a 3-1 loss.