Big Blue claims four spring titles
Girls’ Tennis, Ultimate, and Boys’ and Girls’ Track & Field championships highlight seasonJune 1, 2017
Improving on their 2016 second place finish in New England Class A, the squad went undefeated this season. So dominant was Big Blue that they dropped only one individual match (in doubles at Milton Academy) all season. Further illustrating how commanding their season was, they dropped a total of only four sets all season (they split sets at 1, 2 and 3 singles, but eventually won all in third set tiebreakers, earning an 8-1 team victory), all also occurring vs. defending champs, Milton.
With long-time nemesis Milton eliminated in the semifinals, Andover faced Hotchkiss in the finals. Big Blue swept their opponents, winning the first five matches, thereby negating the need for championship play to continue past 5-0.
After a second place finish at last year’s New England Prep School Ultimate League (NEPSUL) tournament, Andover apparently wanted more. After experiencing some tough losses in the regular season, Andover, self-monikered “Blue Steel,” seemed to peak at tourney time. At the championships, the team began by going 1-1 in pool play, with a win over host Choate (13-2) and a loss to Hotchkiss (6-7). In the semifinals, Andover downed Northfield Mount Hermon 9-7 only to find Hotchkiss waiting for them in the finals. This time, Andover was ready, earning the Ultimate crown by way of a decisive 12-3 victory.
Andover also was awarded the Spirit of the Game award, voted on by opponent’s evaluation of the team’s knowledge of the rules, the ability to self-officiate and overall sportsmanship.
Girls’ Track & Field
Not many Big Blue fans will forget the team's dominant championship 2016 season, led by Camille Little ’16’s record-setting performances in the 100 and 200. However, this year’s team forged their own identity and retained the New England crown with contributions from returners and newcomers alike. Andover entered the championships undefeated and earned the title with 92 points, outscoring its nearest competitors Exeter (71) and Choate (56). Top performances included the undefeated relay team of Victoria Kadiri ’20, captain Deyanna Marsh ’17, Federicka Lucas ’18, and Sydney Holder ’18 posting their fastest time of the year; Lucas claiming victory in the 100; and Samantha Valentine ’17’s breakaway wins in the 1,500 and 3,000.
Valentine shined through the fall cross-country, winter indoor, and spring outdoor track seasons this year. Fittingly, her spring championship heroics earned her the meet’s “Most Valuable Performer” award.
Boys’ Track & Field
After losing just once during the regular season, boys’ track and field headed to the championships, hosted by Exeter. In one of the closest competitions in the championship meet’s history, Andover’s 70-point total was enough to secure their first New England Division One Prep Title since 2011. In their race for the title, Big Blue stretched past Exeter (60), St. Paul’s (59), and Loomis (58). Noah Ward ’17 (18 points) and Michael McCullom ’18 (16 points) turned in impressive performances as Andover’s high scorers, but it was undoubtedly a collective effort, as 13 different members of the squad contributed points to the title tally.
Noah Ward ’17, already a record breaker in the winter, set a new outdoor school record in the Discus, with a throw of 173-09.
Anupreeth Coramutla ’17, playing first singles for Andover, remained undefeated throughout New England league competition this season. Tournament play proved no different, as Coramutla extended his unbeaten streak all the way to the championship. His mix of power and cerebral court play was entertaining to watch all season. Coramutla was crowned New England Prep School Singles Champion after defeating Nikhil Das of Moses Brown, himself a former NEPSITT champion, 6-4, 6-4, despite experiencing painful leg cramps all through the final set.