Andover Sweeps Title for First New England Championship Since 2006

On championship point with the score 24-17 and Andover on the brink of their first title since 2006, the crowd held their breath as the Hotchkiss middle blocker went up for the spike. The Andover stands erupted in cheers as the ball sailed past the end line to make Andover the 2010 New England Prep School Volleyball Champions. Co-Captain Jamie Shenk ’12 said, “It was an amazing day, and it was especially satisfying to beat Hotchkiss in the finals. They have been our major competition in the league for the past few years, and both my freshmen and lower years they were the ones to knock us out of the tournament, so I think that added element made everyone play that much harder.” Andover took an early lead in the first set of the semifinal, jumping out to a 7-4 lead. Choate, however, was quick to battle back. With the score tied at 15 Choate broke away with a seven-point lead. Andover was able to string together points on Chelsea Ward ’12 well-placed serve to tie the set at 24, but Choate pulled through to take the set 26-24. Andover charged back in the second set. On serves from Lucia McGloin ’13, Andover bounced back from a deficit of 2-5 to a 6-5 advantage. Andover continued to push ahead taking the lead 16-7 on vicious serves from Co-Captain Kemi Amurawaiye ’11 and Zoe Roschach ‘12. Andover dominated the rest of the set, winning 25-17. Andover never surrendered the lead in set three, bolstered again by Ward’s service. She went on an incredible 8-point service run and helped Andover to win by a large 25-12 margin. In the fourth and final set, Andover and Choate fought for points, keeping the score close at the start, but on nine hard-driven serves from McGloin, Andover pulled away and closed out the semifinals with 25-16 win. Andover advanced to the championships against rival Hotchkiss for their final match of the season and a rematch of last year’s semifinal when Hotchkiss knocked Andover out of the tournament. Coming off of a tight match with Taft, Hotchkiss was slow to start and Andover’s quick offense gave them a quick 25-15 win. Again in game two, Andover glided to a 6-0 advantage. The team maintained the lead for a while until Hotchkiss tied the score up at 15 all. Low on steam, Andover’s offense faltered, but the defense held strong. At 22-22, Hotchkiss scored two points and sent Andover scrambling. In a heart pounding four points, Andover pulled together to finish the game a nail-bitingly close 26-24. In the third and final set of the championship match, Andover was relentless and determined to win. Playing some of the best volleyball all season with impressive digs from Onorato and Ward, Andover dismantled Hotchkiss’s offense and finished the game 25-17. With four aces, Roschach also lead the way in kills, bouncing 12 balls. Bell earned 8 kills and blocked three balls. With two aces, Amurawaiye also earned seven kills. McGloin had a perfect serving record, sending 15 balls sailing over the net. Ward ran the offense, setting 29 assists, while in the backrow, Onorato defended Andover’s side of the court, picking up 33 digs. Amurawaiye said, “Championships were bitter sweet, it was amazing, after three years, to finally beat Hotchkiss during championships, but also sad that it was my last game with PAVB. Overall, we had an amazing season. We came together in September, grew together throughout the season and, in the end, had a team we could be proud of.”