Andover Prepares for Exeter and New England’s

Andover Girls Volleyball dominated a quick three-set match on Friday against Lawrence Academy with set scores of 25-16, 25-14 and 25-8. The undefeated Andover team displayed its all-around prowess with nine assists from Annette Bell ’16, seven kills from Captain Alexi Bell ’13 and nine aces from Mandy Reichenbach ’14.

“We mixed up our lineups a lot because we were a lot more well-disciplined than the other team,” said Alexi Bell. “It was good because we could focus on ourselves versus trying to the play to the other team. I think it was a great game for us to have as we go forward.”

In the game, Olivia Bren ’13 also had seven assists, Erica Shin ’16 had 21 out of 22 digs and Abby Chung ’13 served 14 of 14 and delivered four aces.

Despite the score and flawless recoveries throughout the match, a few of the Andover athletes felt there was still more room for improvement as Andover prepares for Exeter tomorrow and the New England Championships soon after.

“We did have moments where we’d have our lapses and get complacent,” Alexi Bell said. “But we always came out of it. There would be times where we had a tough time passing so we couldn’t score, but once we were able to return the serves, that’s really what got us back on a roll.”

Isabel Taylor ’15 said, “We could have closed [the match] faster, and we made a lot of errors on our side. If we had gotten the ball over to their side, they would have made the errors for us.”

“Our passing wasn’t as strong footed, and we came out a little flat-footed,” said Kate Wincek ’14, “but we still played well.”

While Andover has frequently fallen into mid-game ruts and has let its opponents back into games, the team has always persevered and come out victorious. Andover has been working on playing with energy to prepare for comeback situations.

“During practice we play with music really, really loudly, so we can get used to the tempo and not being able to hear the people next to us,” said Amanda Simard ’12. “We also play with it completely off, because a lot of the time the crowd empties. We get used to the energy in the room, and we’re practicing building our own energy rather than relying on the crowd.”

“It becomes a mental game,” Alexi Bell said. “We have to focus on ourselves and be able to pull ourselves out of difficult patches to be able to succeed and do well.”

She added, “We’ve definitely gotten a lot more confident with our playing, and we’ve also gotten better at playing with each other, which is crucial.”

On October 17th, Andover defeated Exeter in a 3-0 sweep.

Andover will face Exeter for the second time this season on Saturday before heading to Interschols at St. Paul’s next week.