Posted: September 12, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh volleyball team took care of business in its first match of the season at Leeman-Turner Arena, putting Quinnipiac away for a 3-0 victory on Friday.
The Mountain Hawks took advantage of an enthusiastic crowd of 290 people that included athletes and coaches from several Lehigh sports.
“We definitely had a home court advantage,” head coach Jenny Maurer said. “We had so much support from all over the athletic department and their families. It was so nice to have such a great crowd.”
The win moves the Mountain Hawks to 3-4 on the season, and gives Lehigh its first win at Leeman-Turner Arena since November 2, 2005 against Loyola (Md.).
Lehigh started the game showing off the jitters that come with making a home-court debut. The players made six errors and allowed Quinnipiac to stay close by until very late in the set.
The score was tied 23-23 late in the first set when Mo McReynolds executed a perfect kill on the right side. The crowd and the Lehigh players roared with enthusiasm and Lehigh would take the set just one point later when Chelsea Sheridan made the kill for the 25-23 set victory.
“Mo really stepped up,” Maurer said. “She was consistent and she really helped us maintain the energy on the floor. It just seemed like all of her points came at key times for us.”
McReynolds led the team in kills, with 12, finishing just ahead of freshman Angelika Kopacz, who had 11 kills. McReynolds also led the team with eight digs and had the highest hitting percentage (.364). Overall, the Mountain Hawks hit .253 as a team.
In the second set, Lehigh again allowed Quinnipiac to stay close, but this time they would truly feed off the home crowd. Leading 23-21, Quinnipiac took a timeout to come up with a solution for the Lehigh attack. That’s when the crowd began to chant and roar for Lehigh once more. The Mountain Hawks responded by taking the next two points en route to a 25-21 set win.
The third set was less dramatic, with Lehigh jumping out to an early lead and holding on for the 25-19 win to close out the match.
Maurer was beaming after the win as she conversed with many of the coaches from the other sports who came to support Lehigh volleyball.
“I’m just proud of the direction we’re moving in now,” Mauer said with an ear-to-ear smile on her face. “Every day we’re getting better.”
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday with matches against Coppin State (10 a.m.) and Marist (4 p.m.) at Leeman-Turner Arena.