When asked about their greatest strengths on and off the court, Andover Girls Volleyball Co-Captains Annette Bell ’16 and Erica Shin ’16 were quick to heap adulation on the other instead of praising their own games.
“Bell’s got a killer jump serve which is impossible to pass. I know, because I’ve tried,” Shin said.
Bell said, “[Andover Girls Volleyball] wouldn’t be the same without [Shin], because she puts her whole heart into the game and rarely lets the ball drop.”
It was precisely that whole-hearted, team-first mentality that landed the two Uppers Captainships on a team not lacking in leadership from its Seniors.
“[Shin and Bell] always do more than they’re expected [to do] on the court. They play vital roles in the rotation, and it’s evident that they play to their fullest. They dive for every ball and ensure they give their all to make a play work,” said teammate Tiffany Bauman ’16.
Both Co-Captains lead by example and inspire the team to reach its full potential.
“When we make mistakes, they never approach us in an aggressive tone. Whenever we have trouble in a set, they are there to provide us with words that calm our nerves and motivate us to do better,” said Bauman.
Bell, whose sister Alexi Bell ’13 was Captain two years ago, has come into her own in her third year on the team.
“Bell really is an extraordinary player. One of [Bell’s] biggest strengths is that she’s an excellent server,” said Shin.
With Bell up front, Shin anchors the back row for Andover as libero, and the two Co-Captains often complement each other in the game.
“[Shin] reads the ball like no other. Even when it seems impossible to get, she dives and somehow manages to get it to a place where I can set anyone,” said Bell.
“I can always count on her to take command of the back row,” she continued.
A close-knit group that is known for its original — and often unorthodox — team psyches, the team has always had high expectations, and this season Bell and Shin have similar hopes for Andover Girls Volleyball.
“I think it’s fair to say with our skill level and the amazing girls we have on this team, we can go all the way,” said Bell. “This group of girls really knows how to have fun… which just strengthens the team dynamic and allows us to play together more cohesively.”
Shin confidently agreed that the number-one goal for the team was to win a championship.
“Coming to practice and seeing the girls on the team is the best part of my day because they just bring so much life and energy and personality to the sport. I know that I can count on them to step it up when the game’s on the line and the score is really close,” said Shin.
“Honestly, I’m really humbled to be the Co-Captain of a team full of such amazing girls who are so strong as individuals and supportive of each other. We play for each other,” she added.