Co-Captain Austin Tuan ’17 served 14 for 16 and notched two aces to propel Andover Boys Volleyball to a 3-1 victory against Choate last Saturday, starting Andover’s season at 1-0. The team’s strong start bodes well for the rest of the season, and lends a stark contrast to Andover’s losing streak at the beginning of last season that culminated in a 3-8 overall record.
Despite Tuan’s high-scoring performance, he is eager to see improvement in the team.
Tuan said, “Coming out of the game, what we need to work on the most is definitely our serving. We lost that first set because of our serves, and although that improved in the succeeding sets, we definitely need to be more consistent and more accurate if we want to beat teams with a better serve-receive.”
Andover stumbled into the first set lacking energy and communication, eventually dropping it 20-25. In the second set, the team improved its communication and seized the set 25-17 to tie up the game. Andover harnessed its momentum and maintained its level of intensity to wrap up the game in just two more sets, with scores of 25-18 and 25-17.
Rawit Assamongkol ’18 said, “Between the first and the second sets, the biggest difference was in our voices and energy. In the second set, you could hear our shouts and feel the energy tangible in the air.”
Defensively, Jakob Beckwith ’17 and Isaac Blackburn-Johnson ’18 recorded multiple blocks as middle blockers and helped stifle Choate’s offense.
Sean Pan ’17 said, “Jacob was able to make some really big blocks consecutively in clutch time in the last set to finish the game for us.”
Co-Captain Evan Park ’18 spearheaded Andover’s offense at the setter position, creating many offensive opportunities for the spikers.
Pan said, “Evan Park showed great game awareness and he was able to not only save points that were seemingly done, but he also had some nice sets for Austin and Rawit to hit.”
One of Andover’s biggest assets against Choate was its chemistry. Although the game was Andover’s first match of the season, the team displayed strong coordination and support for each other.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “The team played together, covering for each other: They moved as a unit leaving little of the floor uncovered, and making spectacular saves again and again. For the first match of the season, the team chemistry was as good as we could have expected.”
New additions to the team, Roberto Rabines ’16 and Pan, were both able to chip in to Andover’s success.
Coach Beckwith said, “Newcomer Roberto Rabines did a superb job subbing at middle blocker and scored a kill himself at the end of the match. Sean Pan helped out in the back row, covering the court defensively sideline-to-sideline.”
The team will travel to Wilbraham & Monson on Saturday.
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