After a frustrating 1-3 loss to Deerfield on Saturday, Andover Girls Volleyball made a comeback to sweep St. Paul’s four days later. The team’s current record stands at 13-4.
Mary Lord ’24 recalled a hit by Co-Captain Dagny Bingham ’23 on Saturday, which propelled the team to win the third and only set of the day. She emphasized a shift in the team’s mindset during the third set with the game on the line.
“[I] would say overall there were good moments, [and] we had some really good plays. One of our outsides, Dagny, [had] an amazing game, even though we lost. … There was one hit that Dagny had that was insanely good. That gave a lot of energy to the team because seeing someone hit that hard, excites the entire team into playing, and it helped us win the set that we won,” said Lord.
Prior to Saturday, the team understood that it was capable of defeating Deerfield, according to Saraya Angbazo ’25. However, despite the few exciting moments, Angbazo noticed a loss in momentum in the fourth set as the team was unable to overcome its mid-game nerves.
“[The game] was iffy. I just don’t think we were feeling it that day. We were trying to force a positive mindset, but I don’t think it was there. I feel like we went into the game scared, since we knew Deerfield was a strong team, but it shouldn’t have been like that. It was an off day, and we all knew it,” said Angbazo.
Learning from Saturday’s game, the team prioritized controlling its mental blocks heading into Wednesday, according to Sophie Holten ’25. Holten believed the sweep over St. Paul’s was reflective of the team’s attempt to play more confidently.
“Energy is so, so important in volleyball. If we get down on ourselves, we struggle. You can have all the skill in the world, but if you can’t pull yourself out of your head after a couple of bad points, you aren’t setting yourself or your team up for success. Throughout the past couple of weeks, I think that is what we have been working on mentality wise. I think that in regards to skill work [or] tactics, attacking and swinging hard at every chance we get is something we have also been working on quite frequently,” said Holten.
Holten highlighted Seniors Karisa Bockley ’23, Yanna Dorotan ’23, and Bingham in Wednesday’s game. Holten pointed out their efforts to uplift the team after Saturday’s loss.
“Karisa is always a reassuring presence on the court, and she is so supportive… She had some great ups today. [Yanna is] very versatile, and always willing to play whatever position we need her in. I really admire her positive attitude and her ability to continue fighting, no matter how many points behind or ahead we are… Dagny is a consistent, skilled, and trusted player on the court. She constantly inspires our team to stay full of energy, on the bench and the court,” said Holten.
With only three regular season games remaining, Lord reflected on the season. While next year brings excitement with new players, Lord was saddened to see the limited time the six Seniors have left in their high school volleyball careers.
“I’m really sad about [the season coming to an end] because we have a lot of Seniors on the team, so it’ll be really sad to have it be our last season of volleyball together. The team is going to be very different next year, which is exciting, but it’s also really sad to think about the Seniors that we’re going to lose, and I’m just feeling sad about missing them,” said Lord.
Andover Girls Volleyball will host Milton on Saturday and play at Worcester Academy on Wednesday.