Girls Volleyball Rides High off Family Weekend

Jacqueline Li ’27 and Nneka Ezeike ’26 jump up to block an NMH opponent.

Pictured setting the ball, Selene Xu ’27 plays her first season with Andover Girls Volleyball.

Jacqueline Li ’27 attempts to block a middle hitter from NMH.

Saturday 10/21 – Andover: 3, NMH: 0

Girls Volleyball (9-3) dominated Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) on Saturday, channeling Family Weekend energy to take all three sets. 

Sophie Holten-Moravek ’25 shared the team’s strategy going into the game, noting a change to its formation. Holton highlighted a motto that the team used, “be a goldfish,” a reference to the TV show Ted Lasso. 

“We knew that we were going in with some different lineups because Coach [Clyfe Beckwith] wanted to change things up and try some new things, and we all just wanted to go in with high energy and a positive outlook. We have this saying on the bench where it’s just to ‘be a goldfish’ and to just reset after every point and just treat every point like a new point, so [we wanted] to go in like that,” said Holten-Moravek. 

Co-Captain Mary Lord ’24 noted that the change in lineup challenged the team’s communication and collaboration. Nonetheless, the game was an opportunity for all teammates to get in the action, and Lord highlighted the strong dynamic on the court. 

Lord said, “It was awesome. Everybody got a chance to play on Saturday, which was really cool. Everybody played so well. The team came together really well, so even people who weren’t necessarily used to playing with each other, or hadn’t played in games a lot together there. Everyone was communicating really well. There was a lot of energy, and it was really fun.”

Saraya Angbazo ’25 highlighted the team’s growth since facing an influx of new players at the beginning of the season. 

 “This year, our team is a pretty new group of people. We have a bunch of different ages this year, and half of our team are all new to volleyball or new to the school even. In the past, and so far in the season, we’ve definitely grown together and have grown closer, which is really important in any team sport, but especially volleyball where cooperation and communication are crucial to the game. So I’m proud of the connections and the relationships that we’ve made and are going to continue to make,” said Angbazo. 

After falling 3-1 to Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter) last Wednesday, Andover was looking for a win this weekend. Lord noted that the victory against NMH was a confidence booster for the team. 

“We were coming back from a loss on Wednesday that was against Exeter and we were really, really close, but we just weren’t able to execute the win. And so it was really nice to have a win against NMH, one that felt really solid and we felt like we played well the whole time. And so having a win like that really lifted our spirits,” said Lord.

Angbazo believed that the team’s energy level on Saturday was lower than usual. Looking forward, the team hopes to improve on bouncing back from sluggish plays.

“When other teams aren’t super strong, our energy starts to match theirs, it starts to dip, and we don’t play as aggressive as we can, which is what happened [Saturday]. We did win, of course, which is amazing, but we didn’t play as hard as we could have. So maintaining that energy and not letting it dip down or match with the other teams lower energy is something very important and something that we will be working on in the future,” said Angbazo. 

Andover Girls Volleyball will play away on Saturday against Deerfield Academy.