This Wednesday, Andover Girls Volleyball secured its third victory of the week, defeating Brooks 3-0. This game followed a doubleheader on Saturday against Hotchkiss and Taft, where Girls Volleyball won both games 3-1. The team’s only loss this week was to Central Catholic on Tuesday with a score of 2-3, and its season record now stands at 5-2.
According to Co-Captain Ridley Warner ’22, the team has been off to a strong start given that the team wasn’t able to play or compete together last year. She noted that team chemistry has strengthened as players have had more time practicing together.
“The first two wins were great, it was really great to be back into the sport so soon, especially with the entirely new team; only two of us had played together before, so it’s been really fun watching the entire team bond and then being able to take that bonding from off the court to onto the court,” said Warner.
According to Co-Captain Sophie Watson ’22, the consistent energy from the team stood out from the bus to the courts over the course of the four-game week. Watson mentioned the energetic atmosphere playing at Taft on Saturday.
“I’ve never played a game that was like that in my life. I think that with high school volleyball, when a team comes out and they’re so loud, and they’re carrying the energy, they’ve already won. Even if we did lose those games, we put every single bit of energy into it and we played our hearts out in those games. I was… really proud of everyone, we hit the floor on every single point, and it was as if every single point was game point,” said Watson.
Watson described that the team shifted its mentality after an unexpected loss to Buckingham Browne & Nichols last Wednesday, and focused on bringing energy and enthusiasm to the games this week.
“I think a lot of it was because that was our first game after taking the loss against BB&N, but I really just think that the energy just came from us completely changing our mindsets and on the bus, on the ride over, we all kind of had a sit-down for thirty minutes, where we really focused and keyed into the game, and rather than building energy up from the first play, from the first serve, we started with really high energy,” said Watson.
According to Watson, the team has been focusing on rebuilding coming back from a year of disrupted competition.
“It’s been a difficult past two years, especially with [Covid-19] and our seasons being all kind of jumbled up… This is a completely brand new team, none of us, with the exception of a few girls who played in the spring all-gender team have played together before, so it’s been a very big transition, getting into the groove of playing one another and learning how one another plays, but just starting off the season with wins is always a good thing,” said Watson.
According to Warner, team activities such as team meals and dress-up sykes have been integral in forming connections within the team.
“We do a lot of team breakfast, team lunches, team dinners, especially during pre-season when it was easier for the entire team to get together. We always have Friday night dinners, where we will try to get some take-out or some nicer food. We also do psychs on game days, so on Fridays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, as a way to make everyone feel more like a team when they’re off the court. Sykes are when we dress up as one thing, so our latest syke was a white-out, on Tuesday and Wednesday we might do a black-out or color-wars,” said Warner.
This Saturday, Andover will be playing Loomis Chaffee.
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