The Andover High School girls varsity volleyball team just finished the regular season undefeated for the fourth year in a row, qualifying for the state championships.
Having finished the season with the number one ranking in the Boston Globe’s poll, the team will be playing in their first playoff game at 3 p.m. Saturday, November 7, at Andover High School.
“We do not look ahead or worry about our ranking,” said Coach Bergin. “I am honest when I say, that we really don’t read the paper and I had no idea we were in that position until a week ago.”
The team has been as dominant as usual this year, winning 3-0 an impressive 15 times. They were equally spectacular last year, however, it all ended with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Newton North in the state title game. The team hopes to redeem itself and claim the title of State Champions this year.
Captain Mackenzie Kennedy is extremely proud of her team and said, “We really worked on our weaknesses and picked each other up.” She also credits the team’s success to players dedicating their time to volleyball during the offseason as well as the regular season.
According to Kennedy, “Your team is only as good as your weakest link, and if all the links are disconnected the chain is not very strong at all.”
Andover has built its impressive season on great defense, as only one other team in the league has allowed less points scored by opposing teams. The defense has been led by Maddy Reppucci, who has accumulated 81 blocks, leading the team in blocks as well as being 12th in the state.
“It’s an amazing feeling. I honestly feel like I’m on cloud nine right now,” said Reppucci. “My team and I have all worked so hard this year and to be undefeated again and to have gotten this far is such a happy and great feeling.”
Reppucci, who is a senior, has seen the team grow in her fourth year at AHS. “I think what’s different about our team this year is that we are more of a team. In previous years we were just a group of girls who got along and did really well.”
Andover will enter the state tournament the favorite due to the number one label. “I don’t want to jinx anything but I have a great feeling that we will [win a state title],” Reppucci said.
AHS Principal Conrad commented on the team’s success and overall play, saying, “The excitement and the level of play is excellent.” He attended the rival game against North Andover on October 14.
Earlier this season the team played against Barnstable in a suspenseful game that was eventually won 3-2. This was the first time Andover had beat Barnstable in ten years.
By Sydney Bergan and Tyler Gauthier