Andover Girls Volleyball continued its winning streak with three consecutive wins against Milton, Deerfield and St. Paul’s this past week.
On Friday, Andover dropped the first two points to Milton due to a lack of energy. The small deficit was quickly wiped away by nine consecutive serves from Co-Captain Annette Bell ’16. Hits from Alex Becker ’15 and Eden Livingston ’15 ricocheted off of Milton’s players, bringing the first set to a close at 25-9.
“Our passes were definitely on and our hitting was ridiculous. We were being super aggressive from the start to get a big lead,” said Darcy Burnham ’18.
In the second set, Andover altered its lineup and switched out four of its starters. With new players in, the team still maintained a significant margin over Milton. Franziska Trautmann ’16 closed out the second set, 25-16, with a clean hit.
“We had a lot of trouble passing the serve in the second set, which meant that we had really weak attacks, which let Milton push through and gain more points,” said Evelyn Mesler ’17.
Andover worked to give more of its players a chance to play in new positions in the third set. With the score tied at 10-10, Bell served nine straight points to give Andover a comfortable lead. After a timeout, Livingston spiked the ball to end the third set 25-21. Bell only missed two of her 26 serves against Milton.
“Milton had trouble with receiving and passing to their setter, making it difficult for them to hit,” said Mesler. “I think that this [win] kept up our team spirit, which made playing more fun allowing us to let loose and really hit the ball.”
On Saturday, Andover beat Deerfield, 3-1. The team jumped out to a strong start with Bell serving to a 10-0 lead. Andover proceeded to win the set 25-10.
Deerfield gained momentum and found more confidence in its hitting in the second set. Andover was able to catch up and tie Deerfield at 11-11. Strong serving from Isabel Taylor ’15 put Andover up 16-14, but Deerfield worked cohesively to win the second set, 22-25.
“Sometimes what happens is that when the people on the court change, you have to play next to somebody that you have not been playing next to before. The timing was just not the same,” said Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith.
“Deerfield got in a very big lead, which brought our momentum down. We forgot to run and do sprints before the match, which we always do. So I think that had a huge effect on our playing,” added Tiffany Bauman ’16.
Andover held the lead throughout the third set, with its starters back on the court. Taylor and Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16 served out the set, 25-13.
In the fourth and final set, Andover maintained the lead all the way from 2-0 to 18-11. Tips from Mesler and hits from Trautmann brought the score to 24-13, and Shin served the match point to end the fourth set 25-13.
“Deerfield came out swinging and played better than Milton did. After we beat them in the first set, I think we sort of gave up because we thought we would beat them in the next couple sets without even trying, causing us to lose the second set,” said Taylor.
This past Wednesday, Andover swept St. Paul’s 3-0.
Andover won the first set 25-19, the second set 25-13 and the third and final set 25-21.
“St. Paul’s improved since we saw them earlier this season. It was startling at first, but then we adapted and played more cohesively as a team,” said Mesler.
Shin boasted three aces, and Livingston had an impressive ten kills. Bell had 31 assists and Taylor had 13 blocks during the game.
“Isabel had a strong offensive game playing middle,” said Mesler.
Andover Girls Volleyball ends this week with a 10-3 record. The team will have a long week and a half of practice to prepare for its rematch against Exeter next Saturday as part of Andover-Exeter Weekend.