Jakob Beckwith ’17 served 14 for 15 and notched an ace to lead Andover Boys Volleyball to a 3-0 victory over Wilbraham & Monson on Saturday. The team went on to suffer a 3-0 loss to Phillips Exeter Academy on Wednesday, recording its first loss of the season and bringing its record to 3-1.
Against a fairly young Wilbraham team, Andover controlled the first two sets and won by large margins, with identical scores of 25-13. Andover then clinched the third set 25-18 to seal the win.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “We played a relatively inexperienced opponent, so the challenge was to be on our toes about unusual plays defensively and to play our own style offensively.”
Andover used this opportunity to allow some of its own inexperienced players to improve, and it came out of the game with greater depth in its lineup.
Co-Captain Austin Tuan ’17 said, “Wilbraham wasn’t that good of a team, so we took the opportunity to let as many people on our team play different positions and try new combinations. Through our play, we really showed that our team is able to come together no matter who is on the court.”
Coach Beckwith said, “In the end, [we managed] to get every eligible player in, if just for a few points. [It was] a team effort.”
On Wednesday against Exeter, Andover battled through three tough sets, falling by margins of 25-17, 25-18, and 25-23.
One of Andover’s key players was Co-Captain Evan Park ’18, who helped spark Andover’s offense as setter.
Tuan said, “Evan did a really good job setting our passes and distributed the ball really nicely among our hitters, both front-row and back-row.”
Exeter was able to expose some of Andover’s flaws that other teams were not able to.
Vicente Riquelme ’18 said, “In the first set, we struggled with making blocks. [Exeter] spiked the ball easily into places we were not in. In the first set, we only had two or three blocks, which is something we need to improve on in the future. We hadn’t seen a team with this much offensive capability before.”
Noah Wintman ’16 said, “It was a tough loss, and the first time this season that we faced a real challenge. However, I’m proud of how everyone played. We came together as a team and played through adversity with grit, which is all you can ask for.”
Andover looks to come back with a win against Northfield Mount Hermon this Saturday.