Championship hardware, E/A rivalry wraps up fall season

Boys and girls cross country continue their reign while an exciting Exeter/Andover plays at at home. 

Brian Muldoon
November 11, 2023

Ellie Ocampo '25 powered the girls volleyball offense to a 3-1 win over the Blue. 

The most anticipated athletic event of the year: Exeter/Andover Weekend. A bright, sunny, Saturday with a chill in the air set the perfect setting for the 142nd clash of Red and Blue. The promise of talent, sportsmanship, and school pride shined through as thousands descended on the Exeter campus to celebrate the oldest rivalry in high school sports.

In addition to a celebratory day on campus, Big Red had plenty to cheer about on the road, as the dominance of Exeter cross country teams continued. The Big Red boys captured their fourth consecutive New England title, while and the Big Red girls claimed their fourth New England championship in the past five seasons. The boys followed the lead of Byron Grevious ’24, who claimed his third straight individual title. Grevious, the third-ranked cross country runner in the nation in the latest Dyestat rankings, set a new Loomis Chaffee course record and came in at a blistering 14:56. Max Lacombe ’24 (4th overall, 15:41), Pearce Covert ‘25 (8th, 16:14), Jack Hutchins ’24 (9th, 16:19), and Austin Desisto ’24 (12th, 16:22) followed Grevious to help lift Big Red to the win.

The Big Red girls followed the lead of Tenley Nelson ’24 and Daria Ivanova ’24 en route to their title. Nelson cruised to a time of 18:21 to place second overall while Ivanova followed at 18:30 to capture third place. Julia Malysa ’26 (9th, 20:18), Leta Griffith (21st, 20:19), and Melani Dowling (22nd, 20:21) each put forth strong races for Exeter. Big Red accounted for 67 total points, edging Andover by one to secure the win. Just last week, Andover beat Exeter by one at the E/A dual meet at Andover.

The boys JV cross country team continued their own impressive dominant streak, capturing their eighth straight JV title while the girls JV team place second overall.

The third-seeded boys varsity water polo also enjoyed an exciting Saturday as they bested second-seeded Hamden Hall, 10-6, in the semifinal round of the New England Championship Tournament. Big Red, who avenged a loss to Hamden in their lone matchup of the regular season, will travel to Andover tomorrow to square off with top-seeded Brunswick School for the New England title.

Back on campus, it was the girls volleyball team who ignited the day in front of a loud and raucous crowd with a 3-1 victory, to sweep the season series with the Blue. Ellie Ocampo ’25 was outstanding for the hosts, powering an explosive offensive attack that led to Big Red’s 20-25, 25-19, 25-15, 25-12 set victories. Exeter, which finishes their regular season with an 11-3 record, will await announcement of their postseason opponent. The NEPSAC Class A Tournament opens on Wednesday.

Andover boys soccer scored first midway through the first half before doubling up their lead with some tic-tac-toe passing with three minutes to go before the break. The score would remain the same in the final 45 minutes as the Blue earned the 2-0 victory. Dieder Wagner '24 and Aaron Park '24 were strong on the back line for Big Red.

Andover girls soccer bested Big Red by a score of 4-0. Morgan Mayer ’24 and Morgan Signore ’26 played well for Big Red, creating several chances throughout the day, while Esme Shields ’24 was strong in the middle of the field for the hosts.

A hotly contested match on Hatch Field saw Andover field hockey outlast Exeter and hang on for a 4-3 overtime win. The Blue held a 1-0 lead at the half, but Big Red was able to even the score early in the third period when Clare Stewart-Selvan ‘25 capitalized off a corner opportunity. The even score would not last for long, however, as Andover scored a pair over the next three minutes to reclaim a 3-1 edge. Exeter continued to battle and cut the deficit to one midway through the fourth when Natalia Ulbin ’24 found the back of the net. Ulbin would strike again four minutes later to even the score once again with three minutes to play in regulation and force overtime. Exeter had the first scoring chance in the extra period, but a stingy Andover defense cleared Big Red’s corner opportunity and quickly turned defense into offense and netted the game-winner on a breakaway chance.    

In the 142nd matchup on the gridiron, Exeter capped an exciting day with a 47-20 victory over Andover. The win marks the third straight for Big Red in the series while also earning the Northeast Prep Football Conference outright championship. Exeter (7-1) will await to hear the possibility of a NEPSAC bowl game this week.

Exeter got on the board first when Zion Simmons ’24 took a reverse for 20 yards and into the end zone for the lone score of the opening quarter. Andover would stake a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter on a 25-yard scoring scamper of their own, but from there it was all Big Red. Simmons broke away for a 58-yard touchdown run before Kai Honda ’24 plunged in from four yards. Isaiah Reese ’25 then took a screen pass 50 yards, breaking multiple tackles en route to the end zone as Exeter broke the game open with a 26-7 lead at the half.

Johnny Getman ’24 hauled in a four-yard touchdown pass from Eddie Buehler ’24 before Big Red hit the ground running once again, as Reese exploded for a 51 yard score and Buehler added a touchdown on a keeper from six yards to secure the 47-20 victory.