Andover Set to Square Off With St. Paul’s in Semis

Playing a strong offense in both of Andover’s victories against Exeter this week, Zoe Roschach ’12 slammed 16 kills on Saturday and five more on Wednesday. In the opening set on Saturday in their A/E match, Andover Volleyball played closely with Exeter, trading leads the whole match. Once Andover finally broke away to 24-18, the team let their focus lapse, allowing Exeter to close the gap and pull out a narrow victory of 26-28 over Andover. Roschach said, “Most of us had never played with such loud, screaming fans. And then by the end, we were trying to finish off with a strong kill rather than playing smartly and allowed them to catch up.” Despite this setback, Andover started the second set out strong, jumping out to an early lead. But Exeter picked up their game and tied the score at 10-10. Andover managed to pull together to win the game 25-20. Carrying this newfound momentum to their next game, Andover easily won the third set 25-13. In the fourth set, Exeter had the lead until Chelsea Ward ’12 served five consecutive serves that brought the score to 6-2. From that point on, Andover held control of the match and the set with a decisive score of 25-17. Amanda Simard ’13 said that Andover was able to win the match even after losing the first set because the team “played with intensity, excitement, and continuity. We didn’t stop playing until the ball touched the ground, and we kept our focus strong even with such a large crowd.” On Wednesday, Andover played Exeter again in the Quarterfinals of the New England Prep School Fall Girls Volleyball Association playoffs. Despite ups and downs in energy, Andover did not drop a set against its rival. In the opening game, Roschach served five consecutive service points followed by a similar serving streak made by Jamie Shenk ’12. Both carried the team to a 24-11 advantage, and Andover won the set 25-12. In the second set, Andover held a decisive lead. Ward contributed to the team’s advantage, serving eight consecutive points. Andover won 25-17 and headed into the final set. Midway through the third game, Andover was down 17-11 until Alexi Bell ’13 served four consecutive points that brought the team back into contention. Then, Ward’s and Roschach’s serves pulled Andover up from behind to a 28-26 win. This Saturday Andover travels to Choate Rosemary Hall to play in the semifinals against St. Paul’s, who defeated Deerfield this past Wednesday. When asked what the team will have to do to win the tournament, Ward said, “We have to stay on a high so our energy doesn’t dip.” If the team wins the semifinals, Andover will advance on to play for its second championship title in a row.