Posted: November 8, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Mountain Hawks wrapped up the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, falling to the Navy Midshipmen in four tightly-contested sets at Leeman-Turner Arena. Lehigh and Navy split the opening two sets, but Navy rode two 25-23 set victories in a row to close out the match with the win.
With the loss, the Mountain Hawks fall to 8-18 on the season, with a 3-9 league record. The Midshipmen improve to 16-12, with a 4-8 record in the Patriot League.
Prior to the match, Lehigh already knew it had been eliminated from contention for a spot in the Patriot League tournament, so the team got together and discussed how they would approach the match with Navy.
“We obviously knew how we were going to attack them,” Lehigh head coach Jenny Maurer said. “More importantly, we discussed what our goals were and what we wanted to accomplish. And I saw that from my team today, so we were pleased.”
Lehigh fell behind with a first set loss to the Midshipmen, as Navy was clicking on all cylinders for 15 kills and just four errors, en route to the 25-19 victory. However, the Mountain Hawks battled back in the second set, executing what was a near flawless 25-13 win.
The Mountain Hawks scored 16 kills and made just three errors, for a .520 hitting percentage in the set. Overall, the Mountain Hawks actually outhit the Midshipmen, putting up a .248 hitting percentage, while Navy hit just .215. But it was Navy who was able to pull out the key points late in the match, as just two points separated the teams in each of the final two sets.
Three Mountain Hawks players hit better than .400 for the match, with Mo McReynolds leading the way with 15 kills and just two errors (.448). Two freshmen combined with McReynolds to hit better than .400 on the match: Emily Flanagan made four kills with no errors (.571) and Brittany Reichwein added nine kills with just two errors (.467).
“Those are players we brought in because we saw that capability,” Maurer said of her freshmen. “Usually it takes time, but they’re already doing it at this level, so we’re smiling when we think about the future we have.”
Flanagan emerged as a star player at the net in the last two Lehigh matches. She scored two solo blocks and one assisted block on Friday against American, and the freshman added another four solo blocks and two assisted blocks against Navy.
“She’s a real force along the net,” Maurer said. “The funny thing is, sometimes she surprises her teammates because they expect the ball to come, but she gets up and blocks it.”
Lehigh returns to action on Friday, when the Mountain Hawks travel to Bucknell for the first of two road matches to finish out the season.