Andover Golden Warriors Girls Volleyball '14

Sat, Nov 15, 2014 06:00 PM @ Andover
Team 1 2 3 4 5 Final
Newton North 12 25 20 25 15 3
Andover 25 21 25 12 10 2

Newton North rallies past Andover, wins state volleyball title in 5 games

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Monday, November, 17 By Bill Burt

FITCHBURG — For awhile last night, about 60 miles away from home, it appears the Andover High girls volleyball team was going to shock the state's volleyball hierarchy.

They won the first game, easily, over Newton North, 25-12. It took a two games to one lead after an exciting 25-20 win in Game 3. And then, in Game 4, Andover jumped ahead 7-2 in the potential clincher.

Then, metaphorically, the Fitchburg High gymnasium roof caved in.

The highly-regarded Tigers, which finished 19-2, won 38 of the next 53 points en route to the Div. 1 state title, winning the last two games, 25-12 and 15-10.

"We fell apart a little bit," said Andover coach Jane Bergin, in her third year, after two years as an assistant and the previous 25 years coaching at Lexington High, where she still teaches.

"To lead like we did in the fourth game and then to break down the way we did," said Bergin. "That hurts. I feel for the girls. They played so good early on. Maybe Newton North thought they were going to have an easier time. But it got away from us in the fourth and fifth game and we never got it back."

Andover High's two senior captains, Azita Bakhtyari and Mackenzie Kennedy, probably among the best setters and diggers in the state, respectively, and according to Bergin they both were at their best last night from start to finish.

"They are two special players and I wish their play was more 'infective' of the others," she said. "Azita gave us so many opportunities to put the ball away and MacKenzie made a few incredible digs. I can't say enough about them for tonight or their careers. They were great leaders for our program."

Early in the match, Andover's two six-foot middle hitters, juniors Wyllier Boughton and Maddy Reppucci, were dominant. Boughton had five kills and three blocks, and Reppucci four kids and three blocks in first game. Boughton had three kills in Game 2, a 25-21 loss for Andover.

"No. 9 (Boughton) was key for Andover," said Newton North coach Richard Barton. "When she went to the back, we took advantage of that, especially the last two games. No. 12 (Reppucci) also was tough. That's one very good team."

The Andover scoring star in Game 3 was No. 3, Colleen Mullins, who had three strong kills, including one with score tied 18-18, leading the Golden Warriors to the 25-20 win.

In Game 4, with all the momentum on Andover's side and a state title 18 points away — Andover led 7-2 — presence at the net fell off and Newton North took charge. With Andover leading 11-10, Newtown North ran off 11 straight points, with the Tigers promising freshman Julie Lanfear serving, to tie the match at two games apiece.

In fifth and deciding game, which only goes to 15, Andover appeared to bounce back after trailing 2-0 and 4-2, to take the lead 5-4. But another five-point run opened up some room and Andover never got closer than three points before the Tigers clinched the state title.

Andover finishes 22-2, with some impressive wins this season, including the Medfield Tournament championship, which hosted four teams that finished in the top 4 in the state, and the recent win over a very good North Andover High team.

THE JUNGLE WAS THERE: Andover High's well-noted "Jungle" showed up for last night's tilt in full force, with students filling up an entire section wearing their gold T-shirts. They were loud and apparently very helpful. The student section included three boys basketball players, who know what it's like to have a few hundred screaming Andover High students cheering them on. 

"We had a few moments when we were struggling and they got real loud, supportive and got us back in it," said captain Azita Bakhtyari. "They had our backs tonight. It really means a lot to have them here."

COACH ADORES COACH: Third-year Andover coach Jane Bergin spent two years as an assistant at Andover High before taking over the helm. She also spent 25 years as a coach at Lexington High, where she still teaches. Asked why she came to Andover, she smiled, before saying, "George Sullivan. He's a special person and special coach. I'm here because I wanted to coach with George. He sees things a lot of other people don't see."


Game Statistics:

Division 1 State Final




Service points (aces): 


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