Posted: August 29, 2009
PEORIA, Ill. – The Mountain Hawks volleyball team earned their first victory of the season Saturday, after defeating Chicago State 3-0 on the final day of the Hotel at Grand Prairie Invitational. After losing a very competitive match with undefeated Bradley University 3-1, Lehigh put everything together and finished off the Cougars to bring its record to 1-3 on the season.
“It was great to get our first win,” head coach Jenny Maurer said. It was definitely the icing on the cake this weekend, after the girls battled in the first three matches. We took all the lessons from the weekend and used them to execute our game plan in the last match.”
The Mountain Hawks battled tough with Bradley in the first two sets losing by scores of 25-23 and 27-25. After Lehigh took the third set 27-25, the Braves were able to secure victory by a score of 25-14 in the fourth set.
In the second match of the day the Mountain Hawks took it to the Cougars winning the first two sets 25-20 and 25-13. Lehigh scored first in the third set and would never relinquish the lead as it held onto beat Chicago State 26-24.
Leading the way for Lehigh in its first match was senior Mo McReynolds who had a team-high 15 kills along with 11 digs. Contributing to the attack was sophomore Jessica Kudirka who had a team-high 23 assists and junior Brittany Dickinson with 21. Emma Melendez continued to shine defensively collecting a match-high 19 digs.
In the Mountain Hawks second match of the day the attack was led by sophomore Angelika Kopacz who had a match-high 16 kills and an impressive .433 hitting percentage. Dickinson contributed a team-high 16 assists, while Kudirka was right behind her with 15. Melendez once again led the way defensively, by leading the match with 15 digs.
Capping off an impressive weekend Kopacz was named to the All-Tournament team after totaling 49 kills in the Mountain Hawks’ four matches. Maurer was not surprised at how well Kopacz performed this weekend especially with all the help from her teammates.
“It was great to see her finish so successfully,” Maurer said. “The entire team contributed this weekend and we were able to distribute the ball all over the court. Teams just couldn’t focus on one player because so many players posted big numbers.”
Even though nobody likes to lose, the Mountain Hawks learned from their mistakes and will look to take the lessons they learned past their first victory.
“The biggest lessons came from the losses,” Maurer said. “You have to experience losing before you can turn it around and we were able to improve with every match. We now know what it takes to win.”
The Mountain Hawks will look to keep the momentum going as they hit the road again on September 2, when they do battle with Morgan State at 4 p.m. and Towson at 7 p.m.