Andover Girls Volleyball defeated Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) in a 3-0 sweep this past Saturday for its seventh shutout of the season.
Andover came out flat in the first set, allowing NMH to jump to an early 8-3 lead.
“Three of the seven starters had the PSATs that morning, so we were a little tired mentally. It is a long drive up to NMH, so coming off the bus and having to jump right into the game was tough,” said Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16.
Serves from Eden Livingston ’15 brought the score to 8-8, and Shin followed with a dominant run of her own, bringing the team to a comfortable 15-9 lead. Andover continued to string points together, ending the first set 25-16.
Alex Becker ’15 opened the second set with 11 straight served points, propelling Andover to an early advantage. The team maintained control throughout the duration of the set without letting NMH recover. Janneke Evans ’18 and Darcy Burnham ’18 came off the bench and were key contributors to Andover’s dominant 25-9 victory.
“We really excelled in our serving in the second set. Becker’s serves, in particular, were flawless,” said Co-Captain Annette Bell ’16, who had 23 assists against NMH.
“Once we got moving, we hit our stride and started working together more cohesively. Every point added to our momentum, and we stopped making silly mistakes,” Shin added.
The team made more substitutions in the third set, allowing for players to get game experience in different positions. The new lineup featured Tiffany Bauman ’16 setting, Evans and Claudia Leopold ’18 blocking the middle, Franziska Trautmann ’16 and Burnham hitting outside, Sydney Baumgardt ’16 playing opposite and Shin as libero.
“[Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith] has been pushing us to work on different attacks, ranging from back row hits to faster pace balls in the middle and the outside. This has made our play stronger,” said Bell.
Andover and NMH went toe-to-toe in the beginning until NMH took a 21-20 lead. Shin and Trautmann successfully served for the rest of the set, only giving up one point, to take the third set 25-22.
“We played our strengths by hitting them with strong serves, staying scrappy and attacking with hard-driven hits,” said Shin.
“After we changed the lineup in the third set, our communication began to die, and we lost focus for two or three points. But once we regained focus, our communication picked up and we were able to finish out the set and take the win,” said Bell.
With the win, Andover stands at 7-3 and is currently the fourth seed in its division. The team will face Milton, the current sixth seed, on Friday and Deerfield, the seventh seed, on Saturday.