Posted: October 17, 2008
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Lehigh women’s volleyball team lost the first of a two-match road trip on Friday, falling to the Army Black Knights 3-0. The Mountain Hawks fall to 6-13 (2-4) on the season, while the Black Knights improve to 17-3 (5-0).
Angelika Kopacz registered her third-consecutive double-double for the Brown and White, totaling 11 kills and making just two errors, while adding 10 digs in the three sets. Kopacz hit a team-high .290 on 31 attacks.
Jessica Kudirka also scored a double-double for Lehigh with her 18 assists and 15 digs. The freshman setter was a target for the Army attack, but she made the Black Knights regret that decision throughout.
“One of the things we really like about her is her ability to play on defense,” head coach Jenny Maurer said. “They went at both of our setters all match, but she really stepped up for us.”
The Black Knights jumped out with a dominating 25-15 first-set victory, but the Mountain Hawks battled back in the second frame. Lehigh held as much as a five-point lead in the second set, but eventually could not hold off Army and fell 27-25.
“It was just a matter of holding on and finishing,” Maurer said. “One of the things we talked about during the intermission was about when it is right their within your reach, you have to go out and grab it.”
The momentum carried over in the third set, as the Black Knights went on to complete the sweep with a 25-16 final-set win.
Maurer said the tentativeness of her young team cost the Brown and White at the end of the second set, as the players began to play too conservatively. However, it is matches like these that set the tone for future success in her eyes.
“Army is a team that’s in contention to win home-court advantage in the Patriot League Tournament,” Maurer said. “To know that both times we played them the difference in scores came down to our assertiveness really gives us a good vision of what we need to do to succeed.”
There were many positives for the Mountain Hawks at the end of the match, even in a losing effort. Lehigh only committed 16 errors in the three sets, and limited its ball-handling errors to just one.
The Mountain Hawks also have the benefit of playing another game less than 24 hours later as they travel to Holy Cross on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“I was pleased overall with our defense and our serve/receive,” Maurer said. “Those were definitely growth spots for us. And if we can go 1-1 on the weekend, we can get into contention in the league.”