Andover Boys Volleyball battled its way through a rocky transition period and finished last season with a 3-6 record.
Despite an unpromising record, Andover qualified for the New England Championships at the end of the season. The team fell 3-2 to a talented Northfield Mount Hermon team in the first round after dropping the first two sets.
The players still have high hopes for this year.
Returner Achindra Krishna ’15 said, “Our season just didn’t come together, and it’s tough, but we’ll turn it around this year.”
The team has been practicing since the first day of Spring Term, and although training is tough, morale is high.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “Preseason is going great. 27 people tried out on Tuesday for the Varsity and JV teams – a healthy mix of Seniors through Juniors – leaving us with hope for a strong showing this season as well as a solid core for the future.”
Volleyball graduated six Seniors including Co-Captains Alexander Tamkin ’14 and Ji Tae Park ’14. The team also lost valuable players Kade Call ’14, Alex Kwon ’14, Irviandra Gusman ’14 and David Seokjun Yoon ’14.
Although these integral players have graduated, Beckwith maintains his hope for this season. “[I say] only positive things about this year’s team,” he said.
Co-Captains Oliver Chernyk ’15 and Thayer Anderson ’15 look to fill the shoes of the departed Seniors.
Chernyk said, “I am honored and excited to be a Captain. Hopefully, I can be someone the team can rely on from both a playing and leadership perspective.”
The Captains hope to lead with their work ethic and communication, as well as influence the team in a positive way.
The Captains’ upbeat attitude has been rubbing off on the players.
Newcomer Isaac Blackburn-Johnson ’18 said, “Coach Beckwith is critical to the success of our team. He knows a lot about volleyball and is an amazing guy. All the incoming [Juniors], like myself, are elated to play and are pretty good. Even the incoming players who have not played volleyball before show progress. Also, Chernyk and Anderson are really awesome and have been helping me improve. They cheer us up every day by showing team spirit.”
Chernyk has lofty goals for the team this season.
He said, “Our eyes are always on championships. We feel like we can win it all this year.”
The team has yet to solidify its lineup, but it plans to make final cuts before its season opener next Wednesday against Central Catholic.
Preseason preparation will be critical in building team chemistry and ensuring Andover’s success. After a mediocre season last year, Andover is hungrier than ever for a strong showing this year.