Dropping all three sets, Andover Boys Varsity Volleyball lost to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) for the second time this season.
“[We] really wanted to beat them this time. We just played really poorly,” said Ji Tae Park ’14, starting libero.
During the first set, Andover quickly fell behind 3-0, as NMH used its size and agility to dominate the court. Co-Captain Marcus Smith ’12 then took to the service line in an attempt to quell NMH’s momentum. He swatted four consecutive service points and gave Andover a 5-3 lead.
“[It was Andover’s] shining moment of the day,” said Coach Clyfe Beckwith, regarding Smith’s hot-streak.
However, NMH rallied and kept the set’s score close until the 10th point. Shortly after, Andover relinquished the lead and trailed 9-16. Andover went on to lose the set 13-25.
During the second set, Smith again gave the team a lift by scoring four more consecutive service points. Despite the advantage, Andover began to struggle.
NMH capitalized on its opportunities and countered back with multiple precisely placed service points of its own.
Fighting vigorously, NMH widened it lead to 16-9 and eventually won the set 25-12. “We lost some leads in all three games; I think that we really regret not being able to hold [NMH],” Park said.
At the start of the third set, Andover seemed to finally find its stride and rifled six service points in the third set. Andover received key contributions from veteran leaders such as Smith, Vidush Mahansaria ’12, David Crane ’13, and Co-Captain Jimmy Philps ’12.
Despite the individual efforts, however, NMH battled Andover all the way.
During the early part of the set, both teams were intensely engaged and countered each other at almost every point. Andover lost 14-25.
On the whole, Andover continues to face the same issues that have plagued it all season. “I think one of our main problems was a lack of consistency and communication,” said Philps.
“We could have made [the game] closer. I don’t think that they [NMH] were that much better than us; they made a lot of mistakes too,” said Kade Call ’14.
Despite struggling overall, Andover did have moments of fluid play. “Andover responded with occasional great plays, but, more often than not, these were on side-outs. [They are] a great group of individual players who have just not yet found each other’s rhythm,” said Beckwith.
Andover will next scrimmage Central Catholic on Tuesday.