Andover Comes Back from Second Set Loss to Win Match

Consecutive victories in the third and fourth sets powered Andover to wins over Central Catholic and Andover High this week. Andrew Khang ’10 said, “We didn’t play as well as we could have, but we’re still trying to mesh as a team and figure out the timing for our hits.” Andover started strong, taking the first set easily 25-14. Andover High fought back in the second set, and Andover lacked the focus and energy to overcome them, missing serves and struggling to block and rundown balls tipped short. After losing the second set, Andover regained its stride and easily took the third and fourth sets by scores of 25-17, and 25-18 to win the game. Khang and the rest of the Andover offense made some impressive plays, executing quick hits that caught the Andover High defense off-guard. “I really rely on all three of our experienced front row players: Paul Bloemsma ’10, Peter Bang ’11, DJ Dlesk ’10 and Stevie Xenakis ’10 holds down the back row,” said Khang. Earlier in the week, Andover opened its season with a nail-biter scrimmage against Central Catholic. Andover came out firing on all cylinders, taking the first set with help from blocks from DJ Dlesk ’10 and Paul Bloemsma ’10. Andover continued to dominate at the start of the second set, but started to lose steam after the first eight points. After many missed serves and poor communication on Andover’s side, Central Catholic took over the set winning 25-22. Central Catholic continued its lead into the third set, and edged Andover by a score of 24-26. Andover came out charged up for the fourth set. Dlesk demonstrated his defensive skills in addition to stellar blocks, saving a hard-hit ball from Central Catholic from hitting the floor, then attacking the set from Khang for the kill. Boosted by Dlesk’s spectacular play, the team took the set handily by a score of 25-11. Andover cruised through the fifth, tiebreaking set, winning 15-9. Captain Xenakis said, “We just realized that we were better than them and that we just needed to pump up the energy.” Khang said, “Everyone is playing really well, and I’m really optimistic for the rest of the season.” Xenakis said, “It’s a really big rivalry between us and Andover High and they usually beat us, but for us to beat them is a really big deal,” he said. Andover faces its first league opponent, NMH, on Saturday.