Picking up the sport in his Lower year, newly elected Andover Volleyball Co-Captain Colin McNamara-Bordewick ’21 has quickly improved his skills en route to his captaincy on the team. Playing in the highly-contested middle hitter position, McNamara-Bordewick constantly looks for ways to improve his game. According to Co-Captain Jerry Shu ’21, McNamara-Bordewick’s relentless work ethic inspires the rest of the team to follow.
Shu said, “[McNamara-Bordewick] is an extremely hard worker in the sense that when he commits his mind to something, he always gets it done. I was watching his transformation from his Lower year to now, just working hard every day. He spent 15 minutes after practice working on his middle hits, and we’ve really seen the improvement throughout the years. Especially when he stays after practice to train a little more, that is really a factor of motivation for all of us. The energy and drive of always wanting to improve [are] so important, and I think it’s what helps him excel on the court.”
According to McNamara-Bordewick, his main sport was originally crew before switching to volleyball.
McNamara-Bordewick said, “Coming into Andover, I didn’t think volleyball was going to be part of my experience at all. My main sport was actually crew, so I did that for a year. I realized I didn’t love the sport much, so I decided to try something new my Lower year and instantly loved volleyball. I had fun at every single practice, and from then on I was hooked.”
Beginning his volleyball career on the junior varsity team, McNamara-Bordewick understands the struggles of being a newcomer and looks to create a welcoming environment for his new teammates.
McNamara-Bordewick said, “I think my main focus is making sure the whole team is really welcome to everyone– from the Junior Varsity players all the way up to the starters on varsity. I started on [junior varsity], so I really know the feeling of being sort of an outsider on the team. But my captains really pulled in everyone that was new very quickly when I was new to the sport, so I’m always trying to develop the young players and make sure they’re having a fun time.”
According to McNamara-Bordewick, he takes inspiration as a leader from Head Coach Alex Svec and the captains during his Lower year.
“I definitely look up to our head coach, Coach Svec, he actually played volleyball at Andover as well and is someone I think we can all really relate to because he’s had a lot of the same experiences on the same team just a few years ago. He’s really great at making practices really enjoyable while also giving you really good technique instructions and making you a better player. In addition, I’d say the two captains from my Lower year, Neil Simpson ’19 and Clay Briggs ’19, were both really great people to look up to, and everything I do as a captain is definitely inspired by how they acted,” said McNamara-Bordewick.
With interscholastic games scheduled this spring, McNamara-Bordewick looks to build off the team’s previous second-place finish to Phillips Exeter Academy during the 2018-2019 season and forge stronger connections with his new teammates.
McNamara-Bordewick said, “I think because it’s been so long since we’ve had a real season, I think in practices we’re really going to focus on playing, playing as much as possible and scrimmaging each other. And that will develop the intangible awareness just of the rules and what to do in certain situations. So we’re going to be focusing on that, and we do have a couple of games we’re going to be playing against Exeter and [Northfield Mount Hermon]. So of course we’ll be focusing on winning, especially beating Exeter, because we’ve had a lot of close and bitter games against them.”
“My biggest goal is to get closer with my teammates because we didn’t have a full season last year. There’s a lot of new people on the team [who] are going to be [playing] volleyball for the first time, so I’m excited to get them into the program and get them playing,” added McNamara-Bordewick.