Andover Bumps BB&N; Drops Fifth Set to Wild Boars

Andover Girls Varsity Volleyball lost in a nail-biting five set match to an undefeated Choate squad on Sunday.

Co-Captain Jamie Shenk ’12 said, “Close games like these are always the hardest. I wouldn’t say that there is a distinct turning point for the match in general, since you play five separate sets that each have a momentum of their own. We definitely let Choate back into the game when they went on serving runs, and that swings the momentum to them. Volleyball in general is a game of emotional highs and lowsl.”

Andover and Choate exchanged points throughout the opening set. Alexi Bell ’13 was the only won consecutive service points, giving Andover an 8-3 lead. Andover later took the set 25-20.

In the second set, Andover was up 19-16, but Choate battled back with four consecutive points, until Alex Becker ’15 served the team to a 22-21 advantage. The game then turned in Choate’s favor, and Andover lost the set 22-25.

In the third set, Choate jumped to an 11-5 lead. Choate led 20-15 late in the game. Andover fought back to bring the game to 21-23, but Choate stymied the rally, holding on to take te set 22-25.

Dropping the first six points of the fourth set, Andover battled back to a 17-17 tie. Co-Captain Chelsea Ward ’12 served the team to a 25-20 set win, pushing the game into a final fifth set. With 19 successful serves, Ward racked up seven aces in the match.

At the start of the fifth set, Shenk won Andover’s first two points, and Ward, with aggressive serves, boosted the team up 8-6. Then Choate picked up their play, taking a 9-13 advantage. Becker served Andover back into the match at a score of 12-13, but Choate maintained the lead, ending the game 12-15.

Shenk’s playing was key for Andover throughout the game. She racked up 13 kills while hitting 54 of 57.

“We played with a different lineup than usual yesterday, so it always takes some getting used to when you’re not completely familiar with who’s next to you on the court. We worked on passing all last week in practice, so our passing was definitely a lot stronger, which allowed us to run a faster offense and gave Chelsea, as a setter, more options for the attack. We definitely need to work on communication, but that just comes with time playing with the same girls on the court,” said Shenk.

On Wednesday afternoon, Andover travelled to BB&N, pulling out a worry free four set win, dropping a close third set.

Lucia McGloin ’13 said, “They changed the lineup, allowing different people to step up and contribute.” She added later, “We’ve been working on passing throughout the week, and it showed today.”

Andover hosts Central Catholic on Monday and will play rival Exeter on Wednesday at home.