Posted: November 15, 2008
HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Lehigh volleyball team closed out its 2008 season on the road, falling to Colgate in three sets on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks finish the year with an 8-20 record overall, including a 3-11 mark in league play. The Raiders move to 14-13 on the season with a 9-5 record in the Patriot League and will advance to the league tournament next week.
“It’s hard to lose our last two matches this weekend,” Lehigh head coach Jenny Maurer said. “But you also have a young team that’s been through a lot and has learned a lot this season.”
Things did not start well for the Mountain Hawks in Hamilton, as they were blown out in the opening set 25-9. The Raiders were able to rack up 12 kills in the set for a .476 hitting percentage.
Colgate had success on the attack all afternoon, as the Raiders hit .427 from the floor, making 38 kills and only six errors in the match. Part of that success came from Case Ritt and Katrina Zawojski combining for 22 kills and just four errors. The other part came from a Lehigh defense that struggled and was not able to record a block all match.
“It was a combination of a few things,” Maurer said. “Their right side (Zawojski) is a great player and she finds ways to score, but our blocking was just off tonight.”
The Mountain Hawks improved in the final two sets, cutting the difference in the sets to 25-16 and 25-15 in the second and third set, respectively. Lehigh also hit better from the floor as the match went on, improving from a negative hitting percentage in the first to .167 in the second and .111 in the third.
Angelika Kopacz led the team with 12 kills, making just six errors for a .194 hitting percentage. Emma Melendez once again led the Brown and White with eight digs, and Brittany Reichwein led the team in hitting percentage by going .273 on the match.
After the match, Maurer had words of encouragement for her young team, but she also had a message to deliver.
“I told them to remember this,” Maurer said. “I said ‘if you don’t like this feeling, remember it when you are training. If you never want to feel like this again, you have to change your approach and work even harder next year.”
Through the ups of being in contention for the Patriot League tournament, to the downs of finishing on a seven-match losing streak, the young Mountain Hawks were able to learn some valuable lessons in 2008.
“It was a lot about gaining experience,” Maurer said. “You can’t teach experience; all you can do is go through it and learn from it.”