The Andover Golden Warriors Girls’ Volleyball team continued the program’s pattern of success during the 2014 fall season. With an impressive record, ending the season at 23 wins and 2 losses, these Lady Warriors have showed their strength throughout the entire season.
This is the third consecutive year the team has won the Division 1 North Championship. Their almost perfect record led them to the State Championship, during which they were defeated by Newton North in the fifth set. The Andover girls volleyball team has never won a state championship but has made it far into the tournament. However, they have won many Merrimack Valley Conference Championships. They hope to be victorious next season.
Coach Jane Bergin, the first-year head coach of the girls’ volleyball team, can attest to the power that this team holds. As the team fought its way into the championship game, Bergin described the season as being a “total team effort – mentally, emotionally, and physically.” During the team’s playoff run, Bergin stated, “We have been working really hard in practice. It’s been a long season, but they have worked together as a team and really embraced the team concept, which is pretty admirable for a young group of women.”
The girls’ efforts were not only noticed by their coach; Leigh Burte, the varsity team manager, also attested to their impressive season. “We have worked so hard. The girls are amazing, and we are [such a] close knit group this year, which helps,” Burte stated. “We have a group chat, and are always talking, saying things like ‘don’t let anyone get you down’ or ‘you can do this.’”
Senior co-captain and setter Azita Bakhtyari was a crucial part to the team’s success. According to Colleen Mullins, a junior and outside hitter, Bakhtyari is an outstanding player and is very consistent. Bakhtyari has won two MVP Awards and two All Conference Awards, and was recognized for her 1,000th assist. Losing skilled seniors like Bakhtyari is definitely going to impact the volleyball team. Mullins thinks the team will be able to rise to the occasion but thinks Bakhtyari will be missed.
The season concluded with the announcement of two new captains. Junior Mackenzie Kennedy will remain a captain for her senior year, and will have two current juniors, Colleen Mullins and Wyllie Boughton, by her side.
By Dillon Clancy and Elena Primes