Faced with a seven point deficit against Choate, Andover Girls Volleyball rallied behind the resilient defensive play and blistering serve of Co-Captain Erica Shin ’16 to mount a comeback and eventually clinch the set 15-13. Andover went on to win the match 3-2 against Choate, improving its record to 7-1.
Shin, who has captained the team for two seasons, started her Andover Volleyball journey after arriving at Team Prep Camp before her Junior year, where she decided to switch positions from outside hitter to libero. Since then, Shin has provided a strong defensive presence for the team.
Shin said, “I didn’t play libero until I got to Andover. I got to Team Prep Junior year, though, and Coach Clyfe [Beckwith] told me to try it. Now, it’s hard to imagine playing a different position because I’m so used to wearing the white jersey and passing in the back row. So, learning how to play an entirely new position was a big change, but it’s been so much fun.”
Along with her on-court leadership, Shin works to create a positive team dynamic.
“The team changes year to year, because when girls graduate and new girls make the team, the whole dynamic changes. I think the team is closer this year than we have been before, which is awesome. Getting along as people is a huge deal in volleyball, and I think that when we’re friends, that translates onto the court,” said Shin.
Shin said team chemistry distinguishes good teams from great ones.
“In terms of skill, we’re just as good as any team in the league. If we can pick each other up and keep our energy levels high, then we can take on anyone, and we’ll have an awesome time while doing it,” she said.
Shin said, “My favorite part of playing volleyball for Andover is hanging out and playing with the girls on the team. I’ve been on the team with some of them for three or four years now, and they’re some of my best friends. Practice every day is just an excuse to hang out with these amazing people and laugh and talk and play some volleyball.”
Shin’s team-first mentality and her appreciation for her teammates has had a great impact on her teammates. Her teammates appreciate the effort she has put into her role as Co-Captain.
Teammate Janneke Evans ’18 said, “She is always positive and tries her hardest in the games, while also being super fun both on and off the court. She cares about everyone on the team, which makes her both a great player and team member.”
Newcomer Serena Liu ’19 added, “Erica has been a great leader through her wisdom on the court, her enthusiasm for the game and her ability to be a person who can rally the team together. She demonstrates and is a great example of these abilities everyday both on and off the court. She puts 110 percent into everything she does.”
As a fiercely competitive group, Andover has always had high expectations for its performance. This season, Shin has championship aspirations for Andover, and she sees team bonding as the key to the team’s success.
Shin continued, “At the end of the day, win or lose, we’re still a team and a family. Being patient with one another, liking each other as people, picking each other up when we make mistakes – all those things have to come first. Winning only happens when we’re really feeling the energy from each other.”
Editor’s Note: Erica Shin ’16 is a Managing Editor for The Phillipian, Vol. CXXXVIII