With Andover down by two sets, Michael Yoon ’10 stepped up to the service line and fired off eight aces to take back the game from a tall Wilbraham & Monson team. Wilbraham jumped up to a quick lead in the first set, and shut down Andover’s offense with immense blocks by their six foot ten middle blocker. Andover fought back briefly, pushing the score to 12-11, but Andover’s slow defense could not hold off the strong Wilbraham hits, and Wilbraham took the set 25-17. Andover and Wilbraham fought point for point at the start of the second set, but after holding the lead at 9-7, Andover struggled with miscommunication, and Wilbraham broke ahead, winning the set 25-21. Yoon’s eight aces at the start of the third set put Andover ahead 8-0. Andover continued to lead until a long, six point serving run by Wilbraham tied the set at 16-16. Andover and Wilbraham went point for point, tying the game at 20, then 22. Andover closed out the game with well-placed serves from Andrew Khang ’10, taking the set 25-22. Andover found its rhythm in the fourth set, finding the holes in Wilbraham’s defense. Boosted by impressive digs by Peter Bang ’11 and Captain Stevie Xenakis ’10, and a nine point serving streak by DJ Dlesk ’10, Andover dominated the set, maintaining a lead of at least six points throughout. Andover forced a tiebreaking fifth set after taking the fourth set handedly, 25-15. It took a comfortable lead of 11-4 after three service points by Dlesk, followed by five service points from Bang. Wilbraham fought back in the middle of the set, pushing the score to 14-8, but Andover regained the serve after a double block by Adrian Lehnan ’10 and Dlesk, and won the game 15-8 to keep its undefeated record alive. Bang said, “We figured out that their back row was really weak and started to exploit that. After we started hitting exclusively to their libero we regained our confidence and we came together as a team.” Andover cruised through their match against NMH on Saturday, winning 25-16 in the first set, 25-17 in the second, and 25-17 in the third. Andover started slow in the first game, as it failed to put six out of its first seven serves in bounds. However, Andover gained momentum after a stuff block by Paul Bloemsma ’10 and a six point serving run by Dlesk, and held the lead through the rest of the set. Bloemsma led the team through the next two sets, controlling the net with well-placed blocks and kills.
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