With the score tied at 14-14 in the final set of Andover Girls Volleyball’s match against Andover High School this past Friday, Evelyn Mesler ’17 blocked a rocket cross to give Andover a one-point lead. Eden Livingston ’15 then closed out the match 16-14 with a firing ace to win the set and the match for Andover, 3-2.
Andover improved to a record of 2-0 with the win, but fell to 2-1 following a loss to Loomis Chaffee on Saturday. A win on Tuesday against St. Paul’s pushed Andover’s record to 3-1.
After losing the first set 15-25, Andover took the second set 25-12 with consistent serves from Isabel Taylor ’15 and The Phillipian’s “Athlete of the Week” Franziska Trautmann ’16, as well as blocks from Mesler.
“[Mesler] showed very impressive leadership on the court in calling for the ball and taking control of the plays,” said Co-Captain Annette Bell ’16.
Andover fell 22-25 in the third set after Andover High took an early lead and Andover was unable to close the gap. In the fourth set, energized by the crowd, Andover took the first point and never looked back en route to a 25-16 victory.
With the score knotted at 2-2, Andover and Andover High went back and forth in the fifth set before Andover sealed the victory at 16-14.
“Once the rally started, adrenaline was rushing through our veins, and everyone was moving way faster. We were able to anticipate and see the ball before it came,” said Bell.
“[Andover High’s] setter is fantastic. Honestly I wonder if her shoulders are tired from carrying her team. She was everywhere,” said Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16 on the skill of Andover High’s team.
Andover took its first loss on Saturday to Loomis Chaffee, the strongest team that it has faced this season.
Andover quickly fell behind in the first set, 10-6, but battled back to 14-12 following strong play from Shin and Alex Becker ’15. The barrage of consecutive points was followed by back-and-forth points from each team before Andover won the set, 27-25, with serves from Bell.
Andover could not follow up with the same intensity in the second set and fell 20-25.
Livingston said, “When the same mistake happens two times in a row, we tried to change it up majorly. We would pull another person in the back to pass, or change up our lineup.”
Despite a 14-11 lead in the third set, Andover lost nine consecutive serves from Loomis and fell 20-14. The Loomis momentum secured a 25-18 victory for the team in the fourth set.
Andover continued its streaky performance into the fourth set and lost 15-25 to lose the match 3-1.
“If you are the team that is down, it is really hard to stay focused and get back,” said Shin.
Andover went into its match against St. Paul’s on Tuesday ready to avenge its loss.
Livingston and Becker kicked off the scoring for Andover and propelled it to an impressive 25-11 win in the first set.
“Becker was killing it. I think all the ones that she hit were either kills or close to it,” said Bell.
Taylor added, “They had a lot of trouble with defending our hits, especially the hard crosses from [Becker] and [Trautmann].”
With support from the Blue Key Heads and the crowd, Andover exploited St. Paul’s weaknesses. St. Paul’s, unfamiliar with Andover’s style of play, was specifically thrown off by Bell’s set to the backcourt. The second set ended 25-12 in Andover’s favor.
“St. Paul’s did not have a very strong defense, so we were able to exploit their passers that weren’t as strong,” said Livingston.
Andover broke out to an early 20-8 lead in the third set and did not look back. Shin served five consecutive points, and Andover won 25-8 and 3-0 on the game.
Andover looks to continue its momentum in a game against Northfield Mount Hermon at home on Saturday.