Posted: August 28, 2009
Peoria, Ill. – The Lehigh volleyball team dropped two hard fought matches to begin its season on Friday. After losing 3-0 to IUPUI in the first match of the Hotels at Grand Prairie Tournament, the Mountain Hawks fell just short against USC-Upstate 3-1.
Despite the two losses head coach Jenny Maurer said she was pleased with the improvement between the matches.
“During the second match our confidence was very high,” Maurer said. “The losses are frustrating, but we fought tooth and nail and we really came together in the second match.”
Lehigh lost its opening match in three sets, by scores of 25-20, 25-15, and 25-13. After dropping the first two sets in the second match 25-23 and 25-20, the Mountain Hawks rebounded and took the third set 25-11. Lehigh couldn’t complete the comeback as it lost the third set 25-13.
Leading the way for the Mountain Hawks in their first match was freshman Taylor Poole who was appearing in her first college action. Poole led the Brown and White by posting the highest hitting percentage on the team (.250). Sophomore Angelika Kopacz scored a team-high seven kills and classmate Chelsea Sheridan contributed six. Jessica Kudirka led the team with 13 assists and Emma Melendez had a team-high 13 digs.
Senior captain Mo McReynolds and Kopacz led the team with 12 kills apiece in the second match, while Kudirka tallied a team-high 15 assists. Leading the way defensively for the Mountain Hawks was once again Melendez who had a team-high 18 digs.
The Mountain Hawks were able to get contributions from several of their players and it really helped produce a balanced attack.
“I thought we were very strong in several different aspects of the matches,” Maurer said. “Our blocking was big, the attacking was solid, our serve/receive was good and defensively we did a nice job.”
The strong team unity the Mountain Hawks built during preseason began to come out during the second match and should serve as a sign of good things to come.
“Our personalities definitely came out during the second match,” Maurer said. “We really came together and if we can continue to play like that we will have a lot to look forward to this season.”
Lehigh returns to action Saturday against Bradley at 12:30 p.m., and again at 5:30 p.m. against Chicago State on day two of the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational.