With five new additions to its roster, Andover Girls Volleyball is searching for its first Championship in three years.
Despite kicking off its 2013 season with a strong few games, Andover faltered down the stretch. The team ended last season on a disappointing note with two consecutive losses for an 8-7 record.
“The team had strong potential and was treated with respect by opponents who eventually bested us; we took one or two sets off the eventual semifinalists even with changing line-ups throughout the season,” said Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith.
“We worked hard, and I don’t think our record reflected that effort,” said Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16.
Andover hopes to improve with newcomers Sydney Baumgardt ’16, Franziska Trautmann ’16, Darcy Burnham ’18, Janneke Evans ’18 and Claudia Leopold ’18, who all boast extraordinary talent and experience with the sport.
“We’ve been lacking height in our front row. All of our new girls will be a great addition to the team because of their vertical,” said Shin.
Co-Captain Annette Bell ’16 added, “[The rookies] are all amazing players, especially [Trautmann], who has a killer line shot.”
These rookies have big shoes to fill after Andover graduated five Seniors last year: Captain Kate Wincek ’14, Becca Federman ’14, Amanda Reichenbach ’14, Veronica Hildenbrand ’14 and Katherine Krabek ’14.
These rookies will have guidance and support from Co-Captains Bell and Shin, both skilled players in different ways.
“[Bell] is a great communicator on and off the court. She has absolutely killer, dependable serves. [Shin] is ready for everything on the court, and she never lets anything drop. She’s super flexible and can play either hitter or setter, depending on where we need her… Together they make phenomenal captains because they understand each other and each set an amazing example for the entire team,” said Eden Livingston ’15.
In addition to Bell and Shin, Andover’s returning cast includes Alex Becker ’15, Livingston, Isabel Taylor ’15, Tiffany Bauman ’16 and Evelyn Mesler ’17.
Andover hopes to maintain a consistent lineup throughout the season and its team chemistry on the court. In practice, the team will focus on conditioning to maintain a high level of agility and endurance.
“We are fortunate to have amazing back row players, especially [Becker] and [Shin], who can cover 90 percent of the court by themselves,” said Bell.
The team will play its season-opener against Governor’s on Friday at home.