Andover volleyball wins league title unbeaten

Ethan Denton
The Andover Trojans celebrate an undefeated AVCTL-II season and league title on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Andover High School.

ANDOVER – From start to finish, the Andover Trojan volleyball team reigned supreme in the AVCTL-II division. They wrapped up league play on Tuesday night at Andover Middle School with convincing victories over Goddard (25-14, 25-11) and Andover Central (25-16, 25-15) to finish unbeaten in the division.

When the Trojans began to turn up the energy, their level of play matched it.

“We’ve been talking about having energy this year because when we have energy, you’ll notice we’re very fluid, we click and are having fun,” Andover head coach Holly Avalos said. “We’ve been preaching and preaching about that lately.”

Andover 2, Goddard 0

It took an early 8-6 deficit in the opening set for the Trojans to find a rhythm. Once they did, they never looked back, finishing the first set on a 19-6 run to win 25-14. The Lions have struggled all season, and they had a particularly difficult time getting the ball returned back over the net when the Trojans were serving.

Andover started the second set with the first four points and then used a 7-0 run to take a 17-5 lead. They would cruise from there to take the set 25-11 and sweep the match.

Andover 2, Andover Central 0

The Jaguars got some early momentum, taking a 4-1 lead in the first set and then the Trojans settled in. Each side traded some entertaining rallies and points and it was knotted at 9-9 before Andover began to assert its will on Central. The play at the net from Caleigh Haetten and Sophie Hall in particular, was superb, whether they were on the offensive, or trying to stop Jagaur attacks at the net.

A 9-3 run gave Andover an 18-12 lead and they were never threatened after that, claiming a 25-16 win. Junior MayaMay Brown helped close the set with a pair of scintillating aces.

The Jaguars were unable to recover, as the Trojans were relentless to start set two, jumping ahead 7-1. Then the combination of Brown serving and the hitters up front proved to be lethal. Central had to burn its second timeout of the set, trailing 17-5.

“The adrenaline is so high at that point, you just feel like you’re on top of the world,” Haetten said. “You just want to go all in at that point.”

Andover increased the lead to 22-7 before Central fought back with some positive play but it was too little too late and the Trojans earned the sweep with a 25-15 win in the second set.

The Trojans will play at a tournament in Goddard this weekend before going to Newton for a non-league triangular to wrap up the regular season. And the team knows they can still get better.

“We kind of start off down and then we get up,” Andover senior Natalie Trigo said. “I think if we just start off stronger then we’ll be good.”

Once the regular season ends, Andover will compete against Central, Newton and Emporia in the sub-state tournament on October 24.