In the third period of the match, Sakina Cotton ’24 pinned her opponent to secure her first win for Andover in an open all-girls meet against Deerfield and Nobles on Wednesday. Cotton managed to pull off another win in her second match with a two-point score during overtime, helping to raise Andover’s record for the meet to 6-3.
According to Head Coach Kassie Archambault, it was initially planned for Andover to host multiple schools, but many schools had to withdraw from the meet due to safety precautions and the recent influx of Covid-19.
“Several more schools were signed up to participate, but unfortunately due to the surge in Covid-19 cases and various schools’ policies around competing right now with Covid-19, we ended up with a smaller number than we had originally intended,” said Coach Archambault.
Despite the smaller number of only four opponents, Coach Archambault believes that the team performed extremely well.
Coach Archambault said, “Our wrestlers worked really hard today and they executed what we had been working on in practice. They also listened to our direction, and they are super coachable. We had some really exciting matches.”
While Cotton shared a similar sentiment to Archambault, she also notes the room for improvement that will hopefully come with much more experience in the sport.
Cotton said, “I think we just need more experience because right now, we’re in a building season for the team. A lot of us were new to wrestling, so I think practicing harder with clearing the arms, lowering our levels, taking a good shot either a double leg takedown or single leg takedowns would be an area of improvement for the coming practices, just so we can take down our opponents which is a very crucial part in the match.”
Coach Archambault notes that no matter the outcome, there are always challenges and things to improve on, even with the stellar performances of the meet.
Coach Archambault said, “Whether it’s making sure that we are hitting good setups before we’re shooting; whether it’s making sure that with our sprawls that we continue to get legs back and we keep sprawling hard and strong, there are always things that we can work on.”
George Ryckman ’24, a wrestler who videoed the meet, acknowledged that the team has not been able to practice together and hone its skills as much as it would like, which proves to be another challenge it had to overcome
Ryckman said, “I think especially coming back off of break, everybody was not in as good condition as they could have been, but otherwise it was a great performance. Everybody used the moves we had been executing in the past couple of days in practice.”
However, despite the challenges, Coach Archambault believes that there were a lot of positives that came out from the meet and is really proud of everyone who competed.
“Our record for individual matches was 6-3 today, and I think that’s just a testament to all the hard work that our athletes have been putting into their training,” said Coach Archambault.
Andover will face Deerfield again, along with Phillips Exeter Academy and Hyde in a quad meet this Saturday.