Andover Boys Volleyball fell to a highly competitive Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) team on Saturday in four close sets.
Vidush Mahansaria ’12 said, “Team communication and teamwork [hurt us]. There were a lot of communication errors regarding serve-receive and other vital parts of the game.”
In the first set, NMH immediately jumped out to a lead. But during NMH’s 11-6 lead, Co-Captain Marcus Smith ’12 nailed six consecutive serves that NMH could not return, which gave Andover a one-point lead.
NMH rallied, however, and broke down Andover’s serve-receive to take six unanswered points. Andover dropped the set.
“It was really frustrating at times. They stacked some really big kids near the net, which hurt us in the end,” remarked Kade Call ’14.
Andover and NMH stayed neck and neck during the second set. Mahansaria, David Crane ’13 and Chris Wang ’13 each hit four, three and three consecutive service points, respectively.
Holding off an NMH comeback, Andover held on to win the set 25-23.
At the start of the third set, Andover jumped out to a 3-2 lead. As the teams battled for several more minutes, Andover gathered momentum and went up 17-11.
After a few key substitutions, however, NMH plagued Andover with 10 unanswered points to go up 21-17. Andover eventually lost the set 19-25.
Andover’s attempt to tie the game in the fourth set proved futile when the team quickly found itself down 0-6. This deficit steadily grew to 3-13 and finally 10-25, closing out the game in a loss.
Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “[Some of] NMH’s middle [players] towered over our players and spiked the ball over any block attempt we put up.”
Both Smith and Mahansaria led the way in scoring, each pounding nine serving points. Co-Captain Jimmy Philps ’12 had the most effective day hitting the ball, going 19 of 22 in hits.
After the game, Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “After two scrimmages with local opponents, we knew that we had potential, and we also knew that we had some chemistry, confidence, [and] energy flaws. Against NMH, these came to light.”
These flaws also showed on Wednesday in Andover’s second game against Wilbraham-Monson.
Andover failed to capitalize on its opponent’s weaknesses like serve receive. It also made strings of errors that allowed Wilbraham-Monson to pull ahead. Andover dropped its first set before winning the second and losing the last two.
“I don’t know why, but the communication and energy just weren’t really there [on Wednesday],” said Call.
Many players attributed the loss to the team’s large amount of service-errors.
Smith compiled five kills, three aces, and six blocks. Philps tallied six kills, 13 hits, and six aces.
Andover will look to get its first win of the season this Friday as it takes on Choate.
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