In the middle of an intense Andover/Exeter rivalry battle, Co-Captain Oliver Chernyk ’15 jumped up into the air and spiked the ball to score one of his eight kills in the match against Phillips Exeter Academy. Andover Boys Volleyball swept Wilbraham & Monson 3-0 and lost to Exeter 2-3 in the tri-match on Saturday.
Andover won against Wilbraham despite a relatively close first set. The team had a lethargic start and went down 0-4 and then 4-10. Co-Captain Thayer Anderson ’15 stepped up and dug 55 of 58 during the match, providing the energy needed to bring the set within two points.
Feeding off Anderson’s inspiring play, Evan Park ’18 had a great serving performance, bringing the score to 15-12 and serving 20 of 20 during the match. Chernyk also served well, bringing the set to 19-15 in favor of Andover.
Wilbraham wouldn’t go down without a fight and eventually closed in on Andover’s lead. The score of the set was 24-24, but Andover eked out the win in the first set 26-24.
Brendan Deorocki ’15 contributed eight stuffs and 15 blocks which allowed Andover to convincingly win the second set 25-11.
In the third set, Wilbraham jumped out to a 5-2 lead. Unfazed by Wilbraham’s lead, Austin Tuan ’17 served Andover to an 8-6 lead. The teams traded points, and Andover was able to close out the set 25-21 and the match 3-0.
The next match was against Exeter. Exeter had previously beaten Andover 3-0, but Andover was motivated rather than discouraged by the loss. The match began with a 4-1 lead for Exeter, but Anderson and Chernyk served the team to ties at 7-7 and 14-14, respectively.
The two teams traded side-outs until Andover grabbed the advantage 19-17 and then 20-18. Shortly thereafter, Exeter snatched the momentum from Andover and amassed a 22-20 lead. Andover’s teamwork allowed it to tie the set at 23-23, but Exeter forced a side-out and took the first set 25-23.
Andover had a serving advantage throughout the second set. Andover’s effective defense, hard hits and furious attack helped the team secure the second set 25-21.
Andover forged a 19-6 lead in the third set. Exeter did not quit, making a frantic recovery to cut the lead to 22-19. Andover seized another lead 24-20 to secure the set 25-23.
Andover had the set lead in the match, 2-1 and had the chance to finish off its long time rival. To start the fourth set, Exeter had a 3-0 lead and then a five-point lead 13-8. Exeter held the lead, winning the fourth set 25-20 to force a fifth set.
In the fifth set, Exeter held the lead the entire time, ending the set at 15-9. The match ended 3-2 in favor of Exeter.
Park defended 19 of 23, Chernyk had 8 kills and 42 of 50 hits and Deorocki blocked 23 of 28 against Exeter.
Tuan said, “Everyone was moving together as a unit, which is something that we’ve struggled before to do, and out of all of our games, we probably played with the best coordination that day.”
Andover will prepare for the New England Prep School Tournament, which will take place at Wilbraham & Monson Academy next Saturday.