Bench Players Cannot Add Spark

Lacking energy, Andover Boys Volleyball lost last Thursday in three consecutive sets to Central Catholic High School in its last scrimmage of the season.

Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “On the court, it was [essentially] six individuals versus one team.”

“The key flaw that contributed to the loss was a general lack of focus and team cohesiveness,” said Co-Captain Jimmy Philps ’12.

Despite the team’s mental lapse, the first set of the match started off on a high note, with Andover keeping the score close. But Andover failed to sustain its strong play and dropped the set.

During the second set, newcomers and non-starters took the court. Without much experience playing together, the team lacked its usual fluidity and could not come together.

“Every bench player saw some court time, preventing a build-up of chemistry on the floor,” added Coach Clyfe Beckwith.

Kade Call ’14 added, “[We] really didn’t care if we won or lost [the set], the point was to get those who didn’t regularly start some time.”

Andover went on to drop the second set.

Coach Beckwith elected to put most of his starters back into their positions for the final set, but to no avail.

Andover lost the third set due to poor passing, which has been their most prevalent problem all preseason.

“We still have a lot of room for improvement in getting the ball to the setter. [The problem] caused lot of net calls against us throughout the [set],” said Philps.

“We were all really tired and I think that it showed,” Ji Tae Park ’14 said.

Philps later added, “I thought the back row players stood out and exceeded my expectations with their consistency.”

In particular, Sirus Han ’13 and Thayer Anderson ’15 excelled in their ball handling. Their accurate passes and digs to the setters allowed Andover to run an offense.

Despite the seemingly crushing loss, Andover still has high hopes for the season and for improving.

Coach Beckwith said, “[The game] did not carry huge significance, as [it was a] scrimmage, where the opposing side did the same thing we did, like playing a variety of line-ups.”

Though the loss did not contribute to the team’s league standings, the result was not what Andover wanted in its last fine tuning match before the regular season.

“This [scrimmage] only reaffirmed that we have potential, but still lack a few key elements that we will have to work on throughout the season,” said Philps.

Andover will attempt to overcome its struggles this Saturday as it kicks off its regular season at home against NMH.