The team started off with strong communication despite the loud cheering from the Exeter crowd, falling by 3 points in the first set. As the game went on, however, the team started losing the energy they had at the start, according to Mudmee Sereeyothin ’20.
Sereeyothin said, “In the first set, I think it was a really close game, we had really good energy and we were feeding off of the crowd and creating our own energy on court and communicating. In the second and third game, I wouldn’t say we were playing badly because I think we were playing very well and I was very proud of our team, but I think we did lose a little bit of energy which must have contributed to Exeter getting more runs.”
According to Alana Yang ’21 and Captain Chioma Ugwonali ’20, the team knew Exeter’s strengths because it had encountered them earlier in the season, helping to focus its practices leading up to the game.
“We’ve played Exeter in the season before, so we had an idea of what Exeter’s offense and defense were like. One problem that we had in the last game was adjusting defensively to their outside hitter. So in the practices leading up to this game, we were practicing our defense a lot and getting used to that outside hitter,” added Yang.
Ugwonali added, “We knew that Angelle, Exeter’s starting outside hitter, hits hard cross. First of all, she is a really strong player, and she can hit down the line as well. So up until [the game against] Exeter, our main focus had been practicing covering those types of shots.”
Despite this loss, the competitive and spirited atmosphere of Andover/Exeter always results in an exciting game for both teams, according to Yang.
Yang said, “It was really fun and exciting. When we were warming up, the entire school started streaming into the gym and everyone’s spirits lifted and started to get more hyped and excited. Every time someone did an amazing play the entire crowd screamed and cheered for us. It felt unreal.”
Entering the playoff portion of the season, Andover Girls Volleyball was looking to work on serving consistency, according to Ridley Warner ’22.
Warner said, “We’re going to work on making sure we get serves in and over the net and also just to be really quick on our feet. We have to anticipate where the ball is going when we are on defense and also cover the ball, which is super important.”
Later in the week, Andover Girls Volleyball entered the playoffs as the 4th seed and faced Deerfield in the quarterfinals. Despite losing to Deerfield earlier this season 3-0, Andover forced a 5 set game, but fell 15-5 in the final set. Andover Girls Volleyball ended its season with a 12-4 regular season record and a quarterfinal final finish during the Nepsac Class A Tournament. [a][b]