Co-Captains Erica Shin ’16 and Annette Bell ’16 led by example with strong serves consistently throughout Andover Girls Volleyball’s season opener against BB&N on Wednesday. The team’s strong offensive play and determination propelled the team to win the match in four sets, 3-1.
Supported by kills from Franziska Trautmann ’16 and digs from Serena Liu ’19, Andover closed out the first set 25-8.
Shin said, “I’m really proud of how we played. We talked to each other, stayed focused, played smart and kept our level of play high. Overall, we came out strong to start off the season.”
Trautmann earned 15 service points, while Sydney Baumgardt ’16 and Evelyn Mesler ’17 each earned 10. Sewon Park ’17, Sidney Holder ’17, Darcy Burnham ’18, and Claudia Leopold ’18 also each played a key role in the team’s win.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith added, “The [team] played very well for our opener. We were able to get every member some playing experience, and most rotations were dominant.”
After Andover won the second set 25-12, both teams entered the third set showing grit and determination. Andover, however, lost some of its momentum and fell 25-21.
When asked about areas of improvement, Shin said, “We can improve on communication, as usual. Picking up balls between people is always tough, but as we learn each other’s playing styles, hopefully we’ll get better at that.”
Janneke Evans ’18 added, “I think that we need to talk more and work on our defense.”
Beckwith said, “As with every team one week into the season, we need to develop team chemistry so we can read subtle body language and adjust accordingly. [We need to] gain experience while having fun.”
After falling short in the third set, the team hit its stride and started working more cohesively. Ultimately, Andover rallied back and captured the fourth set, 25-13.
Evans said, “There were a lot of highlights. [Mesler] had a bunch of great blocks and [Shin] and [Trautmann] served really well.”
Coming off the win, Andover Girls Volleyball will look to improve its movement and communication on the court.
Beckwith said, “We need to learn reading each other better, so we can play quicker, or conversely, slow it down. We have the mechanics, now we need to train for minute speed adjustments, take control of tempo, learn different attacks to adjust for a variety of strengths and weaknesses in our opponents.” When asked about the team’s goals for the rest of the season, Shin said, “Feeling like a family is always one goal. We want to be more comfortable with each other. The more we trust each other, the better we’ll play.”
Evans added, “We had a really great season opener, and I hope that our team will only improve more.”
Andover looks to continue its forward momentum in its games against Taft and Hotchkiss on Saturday.