Brendan Deorocki ’15 boosted himself off the ground, stuffed a ball that had been tipped over by one of Northfield Mount Hermon’s (NMH) players and tied the first set at 22-22 during Andover Boys Volleyball’s match against NMH on Saturday.
Andover played both NMH and Choate on Saturday. The team was outclassed and lost both of its matches 1-3.
Andover was optimistic going into the two matches. Jerry Yang ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I think we all knew that Choate and NMH are beatable, and it’s about playing with energy and cooperation.”
The first set against NMH began slowly for Andover. Despite this, Andover found its rhythm and eventually tied up the set at 9-9. Using this momentum, the team eventually pulled ahead to 19-16, but could not close out the set.
The lead built up by Andover was attributed to a strong performance from Brendan Deorocki ’15, who had 12 kills, 31 of 35 hits, two stuffs and 10 of 14 blocks.
In the next set, Andover came back swinging. The players held the set tied at 9-9, 10-10 and 19-19 against NMH, one of the most talented teams in the league. Andover scraped up a 24-20 lead, and won the set 25-23 in part due to a strong serving performance from Evan Park ’18. He served 22 of 24, and had 2 aces and 36 assists overall.
Co-Captain Thayer Anderson ’15 earned 50 of 55 digs, inspiring his team to keep up with the experienced NMH team. The third set had four lead changes until the set was tied at 13-13.
NMH took an 18-13 lead in the third set and looked to be in charge of the match. Andover, however, did not go down without a fight. Austin Tuan ’17 led the charge and had 11 kills while hitting 27 of 35. Andover fought back to grab a 19-17 lead. NMH secured the third set 25-19 bringing the set score to 2-1.
In the fourth set, NMH won the set handily by a 25-17 margin, taking the match 3-1.
Andover had to quickly brush off the loss to NMH and dial in for its match against Choate.
The emotions of the last match clung onto the players when the second match began. Due to a lack of concentration, Andover went down 0-6 in the first set and then 3-12 in the second.
Andover clawed its way back into the set. Park and Anderson both stepped up and had 18 assists and 51 of 55 digs, respectively. They tied the set up at 19 and then went up 20-19. The set was tied up again at 20 and 21. Finally, Andover snatched the set and won 25-21.
In the second and third sets, Choate attacked Andover by playing aggressively. Choate controlled its serves and ball placement, holding the lead in both sets winning both 25-14 and 25-15 respectively.
With the team playing at its best, Andover traded the lead with Choate multiple times until the set was tied at 14-14. Choate took a five point lead, but Andover countered and tied the set at 19-19. The set was tied again at 20-20. Choate, who then took the lead, did not give up for the rest of the set. It took the 3-1 victory by a 25-22 margin in the fourth set.
Despite losing the game, Andover had great individual performances. Various Andover players stepped up and attempted to carry the team on their backs. Tuan served 15 of 15 and had three aces, while Deorocki had six kills, 18 of 20 hits, seven stuffs and 11 of 17 blocks.
Co-Captain Oliver Chernyk ’15 said, “[The team is] a close knit group of guys, so that makes my job a lot easier. We all rely on one another. We’re all competitors.”
With a current record of 2-4, Andover will host Central Catholic on Tuesday and Phillips Exeter Academy and Wilbraham & Monson on Saturday.