Two Points Short of Revenge

With the match on the line, Mandy Reichenbach ’14 stepped up to the service line and brought the score from 8-13 to 13-13. However, the five point comeback was not enough for Andover Girls Volleyball to topple Choate, the reigning New England champions. Choate won the fifth set 15-13 to beat Andover 3-2 last Saturday. Last year, Andover fell to Choate in the semifinals of the New England Championships in a close 2-3 match. After losing the first set 17-25, Andover took the second set 25-22 to tie the score. “Even though we were slow out of the starting blocks, the team showed strength in their comebacks and strategies,” wrote Coach Clyfe Beckwith in an e-mail to The Phillipian. The third set was not as close, and Choate pulled away to win 25-17. Multiple service points from Co-Captain Kate Wincek ’14 and Reichenbach helped Andover take the fourth set 25-23. “Choate definitely had holes in their defense, and at times we were finding them wonderfully, and at other times it seemed like every ball kept going straight to one of their players,” said Wincek. The fifth and final set went back and forth, with Andover leading 7-6 and then falling 8-13 after Choate grabbed a sideout and scored four points in a row. Choate ultimately nabbed two points to win the set 15-13 and the game 3-2. Turning its defeat into motivation, Andover came out strong in its game against BB&N on Wednesday, dominating 3-0. Co-Captain Alex Becker ’15 picked up five straight service points to put Andover ahead 11-5. Isabel Taylor ’15 followed with five service points of her own, helping Andover close out the first set 25-16. “[Taylor] played really well. She did a great job finding gaps and playing smart instead of hitting for power,” said Erica Shin ’16. Wincek’s serving brought Andover to a 6-0 lead in the second set and then Eden Livingston ’15 and Becker, with a combined five aces, closed out the set 25-16. “[Becker] had some amazing kills in the second set, and she really helped keep our energy up,” said Livingston. BB&N roared back in the third set to lead 14-6, preying on Andover’s slow defense. “We just had to be prepared for anything erratic that came over or hit the block,” said Livingston. Coming back from 12-17, serving powerhouse Reichenbach won seven consecutive service points to put Andover ahead at 19-17 and ultimately close out the match at 25-19. “This was a great game for us to try some of the things we’d been working on in practice, such as changing the tempo and speed of our hits up,” said Wincek. “BB&N was a good chance for us to try being more aggressive without worrying about making too many mistakes, it helped our team feel more confident trying out new plays,” said Shin. Andover hopes to add a win to its 8-2 record in a game against Dana Hall in Wellesley, Mass., this Friday.