Win Streak Ends at 16; Volleyball Loses to Hotchkiss

Andover Girls Volleyball suffered a tough 1-3 loss to Hotchkiss on Saturday afternoon, ending its 16-game regular season winning streak. “As a team we played really well together when we had to, but when we got in a rut there was a clear struggle to get out,” wrote Co-Captain Alex Becker ’15 in an e-mail to The Phillipian. Andover’s loss to Hotchkiss was the first game of a double-header. The team quickly recovered from its defeat, taking down Taft in three sets in the second game. Annette Bell ’16 served ten straight service points in the first set against Hotchkiss to propel Andover to a 1-0 lead. Hotchkiss soon rallied back, amending many of its rotation errors on the court to capture the second set, 25-22. “Andover did not adjust for Hotchkiss’s faster offense and developed communication errors of their own on defense,” wrote Coach Clyfe Beckwith in an e-mail to The Phillipian. After falling behind at the start of the third set, Andover mustered six straight points, tying up the score with Hotchkiss at 8-8. With the score fluctuating, Andover finally managed to pull ahead 18-17. Hotchkiss’s captain then incited a comeback by serving four consecutive points to put Hotchkiss up 25-20. Hotchkiss prevailed in the fourth set, clinging to the lead to capture its first victory of the season. Facing Taft two hours later, Andover stormed to a quick 12-4 lead. However, Taft rallied back, knotting the score at 22. Andover then served three consecutive points to take home the set. In the second set, Taft took control with some minor line-up changes to tie the score at 1-1. With the score tied, Andover went on the aggressive, placing key strikes to take home a 29-27 victory. “When we were down and the pressure was on, we started swinging to win instead of swinging to be safe and put the ball in play when it really mattered,” said Co-Captain Kate Wincek ’14. Andover’s set victory was led by Bell, who served six consecutive points to put Andover within range of Taft. “[Bell] served us out of a really tight corner. It was a lot of pressure on her shoulders, but she really pulled through for us,” said Erica Shin ’16. With momentum on its side, Andover took home the fourth set to seal its first victory of the season. “We played as a unified team [against Taft] instead of six individuals on the court, which is amazing to see happen so early on,” said Wincek. Andover also performed well in its scrimmages this week, defeating Governor’s Academy 3-1 and tying Central Catholic 2-2. Looking forward, Andover will focus on team camaraderie and defensive development. “We have some great individual talent this year, but I think we’ll be unstoppable once we fully channel all of our talent into working together and trusting each other as a cohesive unit on the court,” said Wincek. Andover faces Loomis on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at home.