Boys Volleyball Sports Spring Sports

Boys Volleyball Closes Out the Season with A Second Place Finish

D. ZHU/The Phillipian

Erik Glover ’19 plays Opposite Hitter for Andover Boys Volleyball.

Caleb Blackburn Johnson ’22 landed his tenth spike in the team’s second match against Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) to secure a 3-2 victory, with individual set scores of 23-25, 32-3-, 22-25, 25-11, 25-7. Andover Boys Volleyball went on to finish the season with a record of 7-1-3 and place second overall in the New England Championships.

In the matches leading up to the final tournament, the team defeated Choate, Beaver Country day, and NMH with scores of 3-2, 3-1 (25-11, 26-24, 24-26, 25-14), and 3-2, respectively. Despite being a younger team, Andover Boys Volleyball has worked hard to grow and play as a cohesive unit. According to Han Chin Toh ’22, the team had a great season with lots of improvement.

Toh said, “As a team we have worked really well together despite being an inexperienced team. As this is my first year, I am really pleased with our overall performance. I have seen each player and the team as a whole grow so much and that translated into our record.”

The team has focused on playing hard during practices by making sure to be present and alert, according to Jeff Du ’19.

Du said, “One thing we’ve been working on is activating earlier. Our goal has been to really attack and kill each point. Before every practice, we run around two miles in the cage and just meditate for 15 minutes. It is all about getting really warmed-up. We want to get all of those distractions out, so we can go hard at practice.”

In the New England Championships, the team defeated Choate 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-17) in the semifinals, and then fell short to Exeter 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-16). The team competed fiercely and showed great promise for the upcoming season, according to Toh.

Toh said, “We are really happy that we got to go to the championship game against Exeter, and next year, we definitely want to win. The final tournament was a great learning experience for the whole team, given that they were the toughest games of the season. Exeter is a really strong opponent, and even though they took the match in three sets, as a team, we feel like it was a very close and could’ve gone either way.”

Looking forward, the team hopes to continue its impressive season and grow closer as a team, according to Du and Toh.

“Coach really emphasized gelling together as a team. For example, going to the weight room as a team, training more during the off season. Given that we will have so many more returners next season, there will be less of a learning curve and I think we will be able to perform even better and become a stronger team,” said Du.

Toh said, “I hope we can continue the great success we had this season. Winning the end of season tournament would be amazing, but I think in general, we want to try to improve upon teamwork as a whole.”