Andover Volleyball Pulls Out Win Over Exeter in Five Sets

Andover squeaked out a 3-2 victory in an up and down, heart-pounding match against rival Exeter on Wednesday. Andover rolled through the first set, gaining an immediate 5-0 lead on steady serves from Co-Captain Jamie Shenk ’12. Despite a minor setback of three services aces from Exeter, Andover glided to a decisive 25-14 win. “Our passing and defense were incredible. Everyone was exactly where they needed to be” said Shenk. In game two, Exeter found its rhythm, running a ferocious offense. Andover fought for each point at the start of the game, but the team’s focus and energy strayed. Exeter pulled away, gaining a 15-6 lead. Andover struggled to regain their rhythm, and Exeter took the set, 25-17. In the third match Andover rallied for enthusiasm and returned to the court hungry for a win. Exeter remained a formidable opponent, claiming an 8-2 lead right away. Co-Captain, Kemi Amurawaiye ’11 evened the score to nine all with a five point service run, but Andover surrendered a nine point run to Exeter and gave them an insurmountable lead. Despite Andover’s best efforts, including six service points between setter Chelsea Ward ’12 and Shenk, Exeter quickly finished the game, leading 2-1 in sets. Andover charged into the fourth match, determined to take back the match. The advantage swayed between the two teams teams 11 times until Andover finally pulled away with the lead. With the score tied at 19, Shenk’s consistent serves gave Andover a four point lead. The team capitalized on the small advantage and emerged victorious with a score of 25-21. Shenk said, “The fact that we were able to come back in the fourth set and keep pushing into the fifth set speaks volumes about the team and our determination, as in the fifth set, since it’s only to 15 points, there’s no room for errors.” The fifth and final match was a heart-stopping rollercoaster. With the teams deadlocked at 3-3, Alice Tao ’11 served three high-speed serves to bring Andover ahead. With the score tied at nine, Amurawaiye and middle hitter Chioma Ngwudo ’11 served two and three hard-hit balls, respectively, delivering Andover at a 15-10 win. Ward earned 31 assists, while outside hitters Zoe Roschach ’12 and Shenk each slammed eight killer balls to the ground. Leading in kills for the day was Amurawaiye with nine fantastic swings. Middle blocker Alexi Bell ’13 earned five kills and two stuff blocks. Behind the block, Onorato dug and bumped an astounding 59 balls successfully. Ward served 17 strong balls. Shenk earned 20 effective serves, gaining point for Andover at crucial turning points. With Andover/Exeter weekend only a few weeks away, Exeter will undoubtedly be searching for revenge, but Andover hopes to pull out another victory in one of the biggest games of the season. Andover’s next match will be at NMH on Saturday.