Girls Volleyball Takes Win Against NMH, Follows with Clean Sweep Against Austin Prep

Following a block attempt by Co-Captain Danny Bingham ’23 and Mary Ford ’24, Wendy Wang ’24 leans for the save.

Co-Captain Michelle Brunetti ’23 moves forward for a pass.

Andover Girls Volleyball defeated Northfield Mount Hermon and Austin Preparatory School, 5-3 and 3-0 respectively. The team’s record now stands at 12-3.

According to Saraya Angbazo ’25, the team went into the Austin Prep game with high intensity and determination. Having played the team in the past, winning with a score of 3-1, Angbazo expressed the team’s hope for another victory.

“I think with this game against Austin Prep, we came in ready to crush them from the start. We didn’t have a slow start or lack of energy in the beginning, but I think a factor of that was also because we’ve played Austin Prep before. We knew we wanted to get a double victory out of them,” said Angbazo.

Regarding the team’s game at NMH, Angbazo explained that despite a win, the team did not play their best.

“While we were glad that we returned to Andover with a victory, we were upset with the overall game. This match could have been quick and ended with a 3-0 win, but instead we had to fight to five sets because we weren’t playing our hardest until it seemed like the very last moment,” said Angbazo.

According to Jaedyn Ford ’24, the team had a slow start in the first set and was down in the second during the game against NMH. Both Ford and Angbazo highlighted an impressive effort from Co-Captain Dagny Bingham ’23 that helped the team to come back and win the second set and carried that momentum through the rest of the game.

Ford said, “We were down by two points, and then Dagny passed every single ball that was hit to her. Every time that we thought the point would be over she was there and she passed it. [With] that energy right there, our shock at her doing that, [and] the point being continuous … we ended up winning the point, and then we kept taking that [energy] on in the second set, and we beat them 25-17.”

Angbazo added, “After we realized that we were being sloppy and the energy was low, Dagny, one of our captains, had three incredible digs in a row, all in one rally, and that was definitely a ‘wow’ moment in the game and it got us pumped.”

Lena Ciganer-Albeniz ’25 noted that the team defense was effective against NMH. She continued, outlining improvements the team can make in the future.

“I think our team is really really good, so much skill, the defense is phenomenal. We have huge blocks, and we have an incredible libero, hitters that can pick up in the back row, and our hitting is actually very good as well…We just need to learn to be more aggressive when the pressure is high,” said Ciganer-Albeniz.

Ford acknowledged the team’s lack of aggression and tendency to shy away from the ball after a bad play.

“We don’t always have the mindset to stay really aggressive on the ball. If we get scared and somebody misses a hit, the next person won’t hit, and instead, we’ll give them a free ball. So it’ll make it easier for the other team. Something that we are working on right now is staying aggressive, always hitting the ball, always doing something smart with it, not giving the other team an easy ball,” said Ford.

Looking ahead to the next game, the team will focus on improving their quick hits, according to Angbazo. She noted that this improvement will be necessary against Phillips Exeter Academy and in the playoffs.

“Leading up to this game, we worked on having quicker sets and quicker hits which, generally in volleyball, ups the level and ups the skill of that team. Though today we tried to incorporate some of those hits into our game and I think we’ll continue to work on those for the upcoming games, [Andover/Exeter], and hopefully playoffs,” said Angbazo.

Andover Girls Volleyball will face Deerfield at home this Saturday.