BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh volleyball team won one of its two matches on Saturday to finish off the Crosstown tournament with a winning record. The Mountain Hawks swept the Rider Broncs in straight sets winning 25-21, 25-20, and 25-22 in their first match, but fell short in their afternoon match against Niagara. Lehigh fell to the Purple Eagles 3-1 and that brings its record to 4-6 on the season.
Even though the Mountain Hawks couldn’t close out the weekend undefeated there were several positives that the team will take with them.
“Every part of our game got better,” head coach Jenny Maurer said. “ I am very pleased with the fight we had even though we came up short in the last match.”
The Mountain Hawks got out to an early lead in the first set against Rider, but the Broncs came back to take an 18-15 lead late in the set. Lehigh battled back to score the next six points and the Mountain Hawks were able to take the set 25-21.
The second set remained close until Lehigh was able to break an 18-18 tie and finish off the set. Rider would not go easy as it fought all the way to the end. Late in the third set the score was tied 21-21 until several attack errors cost the Broncs the match.
Leading the Mountain Hawks attack against Rider was sophomore Angelika Kopacz and senior Mo McReynolds who finished with six kills apiece. Sophomore Jessica Kudirka had four service aces in the win.
In the Mountain Hawks’ second match of the day, Niagara was able to take the first two sets 27-25 and 25-21, but Lehigh would not go easy. The Mountain Hawks battled hard and were able to take the third set 25-23. The attack was led by Kopacz who finished with four kills in the set. The Purple Eagles outlasted the Mountain Hawks to take the fourth set 25-19 and close out the match.
“Niagara was the toughest competition we faced all weekend,” Maurer said. “We rose to the occasion and played some of our best volleyball all season, but we weren’t able to capitalize on their mistakes."
The Mountain Hawks were led by Kopacz and sophomore Chelsea Sheridan as they finished the Niagara match with 14 and 13 kills, respectively. Junior Brittany Dickinson finished with 37 assists and sophomore Emma Melendez had a match-high 22 digs. Sophomore Brittany Reichwein saw her first action of the season this weekend and didn’t disappoint. She had a team-high .444 hitting percentage against Rider and finished with eight kills and a .304 hitting percentage in the Niagara match.
“It was great to have Brittany back this weekend,” Maurer said. “Once again we had several different individuals shine during the tournament.”
Lehigh will return to action this Tuesday when it travels to Philadelphia to take on La Salle at 7:00 p.m.