An integral member of Andover’s defense, Serena Liu ’19 contributed 11 digs against Choate on Saturday. Despite Liu’s exceptional performance, Andover ultimately fell 3-0 to Choate. The loss brought Andover’s record to 5-2.
Despite the final score, Andover played well on defense and had a few successful plays at the net.
Liu said, “Even against their strong hits and defense, we were able to counter them by covering the holes and digging out their hits while moving quickly to cover for each other. The hitters at the net also did exceptionally well with blocking and making hits and plays to keep the ball in the game. Overall, the team worked hard to keep the ball in play and get it to the right places to fight for each point.”
However, Andover struggled to play cohesively as a team, and Choate capitalized on this weakness to take control of the game early on.
Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “[We have] the skills to play competitively against Choate, but on Saturday, Andover did not bring a team where all six players on the court were working together. If only two players are in sync at any given time, then the team relies on the opponent making mistakes to gain any traction – Choate did not give us that satisfaction.”
“If [we] had played like [we] practiced on Friday then at least the match would have been more even, it was not our day… all of our hitters and setters made good individual plays here and there, [but] as a team we did not bring the A-game,” continued Coach Beckwith.
Whenever Andover began challenging Choate’s lead, Choate matched its points and kept edging it out.
Liu said, “During our game against Choate we weren’t able to gain momentum in the game, and we had a hard time getting in the position to gain points.”
Brooke Fleming ’20 said, “After the first point of the entire match, you could see that team chemistry was off. We were dropping balls that we normally would not drop, and against a skilled team like Choate there was no room for these types of errors.”
In addition to skills on the court, Andover looks to improve its communication and overall team cohesion.
Liu said, “We can work on never stopping and going for every ball and getting our passes to the setter so they can set up a good play for the hitters.”
Coach Beckwith added, “Hopefully we will learn that working together is just as important as having skills.”
Andover will host Dana Hall this Saturday in hopes of returning to its winning ways.