Boys Volleyball Surmounts Andover High School 4-0 in Season Opener

Andover is led by Co-Captains Caleb Blackburn-Johnson ’22 and J.X. Smith ’22.

Two Andover players prepare to block an attacking Andover High shot.

Pulling through during multiple game point ties, Andover Boys Volleyball was able to defeat Andover High School (Andover High) in the team’s season opener. Despite welcoming a roster full of new players, the team was able to overcome its lack of experience and limited time together for victory. Boys Volleyball looks ahead to a bright season, so far standing 1-0.

Logan Suryamega ’23, a new addition to the team, expressed his excitement for the season, especially regarding the new talent. However, considering the largely new team, Suryamega touched on the team’s need to improve its bond and ability to play as a unit.

Suryamega said, “The team played really well considering that over half the team is either new to the game, or new to this level of play. There are some spots that we need to work on, like some rough edges, but I think we have a really, really strong team this year.”

Eddie Lou ’24 shared a similar sentiment to Suryamega, commending the team’s performance in spite of the obstacles presented by a new year and new players. Lou was satisfied with the result and expressed his excitement for the rest of the season.

Lou said, “I think a good amount of the players on the team are basically new, so giving them this first chance. It was actually a really really great game because this is, for some of us, the first Varsity match, but for some of us this was the first actual volleyball match and to see them actually perform well was really really comforting to see because we can see that there’s a lot of potential in this team.”

Coming up from JV the year prior, both Lou and fellow teammate, William Janghops Suh ’24 felt nervous for the game. Nonetheless, both of teammates, as well as the entire team, were able to create an exhilarating experience by breaking through their nerves, something that will come more easily as the season progresses, Suh noted. 

“It just comes naturally with more experience and more advice. There’s not really anything you can do to prevent your nerves from coming out I’d say, but just with more experience you feel more confident as well,” said Suh.

Furthermore, the specific areas of improvement for Andover begin with communication. Suryamega explained the importance of calling the plays, from the bench or on the court, to aid the urgent judgment that players need to make. Also, Suryamega noted that working on the defensive side would be another great area of improvement, though the offense holds a solid stance. Suryamega added upon Co-Captain Caleb Blackburn-Johnson’s ’22 ability to lead by example in his offensive plays.

Suryamega said, “I think we need to be a little bit louder. Right now, there’s a lot of miscommunication. Nico [von Eckartsberg ’23] was taking up a lot of that yelling, calling, making ball calls, helping out the team. But even from the bench and on the court, it’s quiet and we can help out more. Just having extra information is always helpful, I guess whether or not a server is in or out. Because it is split second decisions, knowing whether it’s in or not, it’s just very helpful. I think, besides that, our defense needs a little bit of work. Our offense is really strong. As you saw, our front row is huge. You have [Blackburn-Johnson], [Alex Mitchell ’22], Matt Murphy [’22], Eric [Tynes ’22], all gigantic. So our offense is really good. But we have to polish up the defense sometimes on weird balls, we have a little bit of miscommunication and then we lose free balls that are really easy points.”

Lou also praised Andover’s offense and described a moment where his play did not pan out well. The coaches provided advice for the next plays, encouraging players, and disassembling the tension that was getting built up with the setters, Lou explained.

“I think what Coach basically said to me and for the setters is that sometimes we just have to be good, we don’t have to be perfect. So I think you know, consistency is something that we need to really work on. But our offense is incredible,” said Lou.

“Just look out for us this season. I think this is the best team Andover has had in a really long time, I think we’re all expecting really great things,” said Suryamega

Boys Volleyball’s next match is against Choate on Saturday.