Posted: September 26, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh volleyball team gave the 246 fans in attendance at Leeman-Turner Arena a scare in the first set against Holy Cross Friday night, but the Mountain Hawks battled back to earn a 3-1 victory over the Crusaders.
The Mountain Hawks did not open Patriot League play on a positive note, dropping the first set to Holy Cross 25-22. Lehigh made just two attack errors in the set, but the Mountain Hawks simply could not convert on their serves, making four errors in the service game.
Even though her team lost the first set, Lehigh head coach Jenny Maurer said she felt the momentum switching to her side.
“The good news was we found our composure,” Maurer said. “It was too late in the first set, but we found it. I think we’ve learned so much from our preseason matches that we’re only going to get better if we push ourselves.”
Trailing by a set, the Mountain Hawks needed to find their go-to players. The usual candidates are always Angelika Kopacz, Mo McReynolds and Chelsea Sheridan on the offensive end. But this match was turned by an unsung hero for the Brown and White.
“Maxie McCoy absolutely stepped up,” Maurer said. It just shows us how balanced we are because we’re not relying on one person all the time. She had to deliver and she played flawlessly.”
Flawless is an accurate term to describe McCoy’s play. The junior totaled 11 kills on 16 attempts and did not make a single error, good enough for a team-high .688 hitting percentage on her attacks.
Kopacz led the Mountain Hawks in kills once again, totaling 19 on the match. McReynolds also played solidly on attack, racking up 11 kills and making just four errors for a .318 hitting percentage. Overall, the Mountain Hawks were impressive from the floor, hitting .286 after hitting over .300 for the final two frames.
The Mountain Hawks turned the tide in the second set, running away with a 25-16 victory. They followed it up with wins in the next two sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-18 for the team’s fifth victory of the season. The 5-8 record so far in 2008 already equals the entire win total from the 2007 team’s entire season.
“Last year every time there was a win it was breaking some sort of record,” Maurer said. “We didn’t set it as a benchmark, but we just said, ‘Great, now let’s move on.’ We have bigger aspirations than that for this season.”
Now sitting at 1-0 in Patriot League play, Maurer said she saw more hunger from her team than ever on Friday night.
“This year is all about proving something,” Maurer said. “The newness we dealt with last year has worn off, and we’re just on a mission now.”
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., when they host the Army Black Knights at Leeman-Turner Arena. Tune in to Lehighsports.com for live coverage.