Maloney ’13 Recieves 73 of 78 Serves Against NMH

Despite the absence of key players Captain Alexi Bell ’13 and Alex Becker ’15, Andover Girls Volleyball came out victorious in a close five set game against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH).

“We had to work harder to find a rhythm as a group,” said Kayla Maloney ’13. Bell was away at West Point, where she is committed to play volleyball, and Becker missed the trip to NMH due to an unexpected illness.

“When we went to the hospital, it just rattled everyone,” said Olivia Bren ’13. However, the undefeated team had to focus and find its footing i n the game without two of its starters. Focus would prove especially crucial given that NMH is currently ranked third in the league.

“It threw off our rhythm way more than it should have,” said Amanda Simard ’13. “We worked hard, though.”

Andover started strong in the first set and maintained the lead to seal off the set 25-19. In the second set, NMH came back and Andover lost its stride to fall behind 7-17. Andover lost the set 14-25.

“We did what we always do,” said Bren. “We did ourselves in a hole, but then we push our way out again.”

Andover took the lead in the third set 6-4 but again went down 20-15. However, with killer serves from Isabel Taylor ’15, Bren and Hildenbrand, Andover fought back to finish 25-23.

In the fourth set, Andover found its rhythm quickly and surged forward 5-1, until NMH pushed back to tie the score 17-17, and finally to take the set from Andover 25-23. “Our team rose to the challenge by bringing the energy up when we were down and finding a way to rally back,” said Kate Wincek ‘14.

The closeness of the match was clearly demonstrated in the decisive fifth set, with the score 13-13, 14-14. However, Andover stepped up to the challenge, finishing the game 16-14.

“NMH was definitely gunning for us,” Maloney said. “We did a really good job of staying persistent and working together.”

Despite 13 outstanding kills from Simard, 11 kills from Lucia McGloin ’13, and Maloney receiving 73 of 78, the team felt there was much to be improved on.

“We needed to work on our passing and serves, which are usually some of our best aspects of the game,” said Simard. “Without those aspects, we weren’t really able to set up attacks.”

Bren said, “The energy was up. We just had to work on our passing game. It’s a chain-reaction: once that cleaned up, everything went smoothly.”

After extra work in practices, Andover came back to decimate Milton 3-0 on Wednesday.

“We switched up the line ups and tried new things,” said Simard. “We kept the team to a low score and didn’t let them get too many more points than they deserved.

Five aces from Taylor and all-around teamwork helped Andover seal the game quickly.

“We did a really good job of keeping our energy level and playing our game,” said Maloney.

On Saturday, Andover will host Deerfield for the annual Dig Pink Breast Cancer Awareness match.