Andover Sweeps Defending Champs Choate to Preserve Perfect Record

Andover Boys Volleyball dominated last year’s league champion, Choate, in front of an enthusiastic home crowd on Saturday. The team swept its opponent in three sets to preserve its perfect record. “I think a huge reason the team came together was the support from the crowd. It really boosted our energy when the game lagged,” said Peter Bang ’11. Choate and Andover fought for points at the start of the first set, tying the score multiple times. Consistent serving from DJ Dlesk ’10, broke open the game for Andover. Dlesk served four unanswered points from behind the line to put Andover up 16-10. Choate was unable to recover from the six-point deficit, and Andover took the set 25-17. Andover started slow in the second set, and Choate was able to pull ahead to a 13-9 lead. Andover fought back as Captain Stevie Xenakis ’10 took control of the back row defense, and Andrew Khang ’10 moved around his sets to key hitters Paul Bloemsma ’10, Dlesk, and Bang. Again, Dlesk stepped up to the service line and pulled Andover into the lead with four consecutive service points. Andover remained consistent throughout the remainder of the set, with Michael Yoon ’10 and Adrian Lehnen ’10 powering the Andover attack. Andover coasted through the third set, jumping out to an early 18-7 lead. Andover’s large lead allowed the team to attempt some riskier plays, resulting in numerous crowd-pleasing saves by Xenakis, Bang and Allen Zhang ’10 and hard hit kills by Bloemsma, Dlesk, and Bang. “We started the match as six individuals on the floor and ended the match as a 11-member team,” said Coach Clyfe Beckwith. Lehnen said, “After coming back from behind to beat Wilbraham and Monson [last week], we saw how much potential we had and that win really helped us bond and communicate more. By the time we faced Choate I felt that we were running smoothly and ready to work together as a team.” Andover maintained its undefeated record with a win against St. John’s Prep junior varsity team on Wednesday, winning three sets to zero. Bang, Khang and Xenakis boosted the team with consistent serves, winning 13, 10, and 5 service points, respectively. Andover travels to NMH on Saturday. The game will be the second meeting of the two teams this season. Andover swept NMH 3-0 the first time the two team faced each other.