In the final game against Noble and Greenough, fifth-seed Skyler Spaulding ’20 returned a drop-hit and sent the ball flying to the back corner, winning her match and clinching a victory for Andover.
On Saturday, Andover hosted its first matches in the brand new Snyder Center against Phillips Exeter Academy, followed by Noble and Greenough. While dominating against Exeter with a 6-1 victory, Andover battled Nobles in a close-cut match, eventually coming out with the hard-fought 4-3 win after being tied 3-3 for its first six games. On Wednesday, Andover dominated the courts yet again with a 6-1 win against St. Paul’s. The team’s remains undefeated with eight wins.
Nobles proved to be particularly strong competition for Andover because of the strength and depth of its ladder, according to first-seed Prianca Patel ’19.
“Nobles [was] one of the hardest matches of the season. They are strong down their whole ladder and we really had to bring our A-game,” said Patel.
Third-seed Chelsea Cho ’21 added, “Nobles is ranked fourth in the nation while we are ranked second, so beating them 5-2 definitely showed how strong we are as a team this year,”
Despite playing a full match against Exeter just two hours prior, Andover showed up ready to play against Nobles with energy and enthusiasm, according to Captain and sixth-seed Caroline Yun ’18.
“We do fitness training a lot so we were prepared [and] playing two matches didn’t affect us that much. Also, we won definitively which is new for Andover’s matches against Nobles where we previously lost or won by a smaller margin. It’s exciting that even against tough teams we’re all still able to compete really well,” said Yun.
In preparation for its matches against Exeter and Nobles, the team focused on perfecting its individual shots. In addition to skill work, Coach Jennifer Elliott ’94 leads the team in cultivating a supportive and energizing atmosphere that inspires every member of the team to work their hardest, according to Patel.
“We always have a team huddle right before [a match] where Ms. Elliott pumps us all up. We all love it and use it to lift us up — Ms. Elliott’s energy is contagious,” said Patel.
“Everyone [on the team] is just really close and we know how to push each other to our own limits. Something that impressed and continues to impress me about this team is how everyone is so hardworking and focused on improving,” said Cho.
The team will face Groton at home this Friday.