Mountain Hawks fall to Army in four sets
Posted: November 14, 2009
WEST POINT, N.Y. – After clinching a spot in the Patriot League tournament Friday night, Lehigh finished up its regular season with a 3-1 loss to Army Saturday evening at Gillis Field House. The Mountain Hawks captured the first set and mounted a furious late rally to almost capture the second before the Black Knights closed the match by winning the final two sets. Lehigh wraps up its regular season with a 14-15 overall record and a 7-7 league mark. Army improves to 24-5 and 12-2 in the league as the Black Knights clinched the league’s regular season championship and will host the tournament next weekend.
“We fought hard tonight,” said Lehigh head coach Jenny Maurer. “We won the first set and did a great job rallying from a big deficit in the second set. We accomplished some great things and we also were able to get some players some needed rest with our focus on the tournament next week.”
Things started well for the Mountain Hawks who outlasted the Black Knights 26-24 in the opening set, with freshman Taylor Poole and sophomore Angelika Kopacz tallying back-to-back kills to break a 24-24 tie.
Army raced ahead 24-16 in the second set before Lehigh mounted a furious 7-0 run to creep within one at 24-23 before a Kopacz attack error gave Army the set and sent the teams into intermission tied at one.
The Black Knights took over from there, hitting a blistering .394 in the third set and .278 in the fourth while limiting the Mountain Hawks to a negative percentage in the third set. Army won the third set 25-14 and the fourth 25-18 to wrap up the match.
Kopacz led the Mountain Hawks with her second double-double in as many nights, racking up 14 kills and 12 digs. Poole added 11 kills for Lehigh, which hit just .105 for the match. Sophomore Emma Melendez topped the defensive effort with 17 digs, while classmate Jessica Kudirka handed out 34 assists.
Army placed four players in double figure kills, led by Amanda Rowell who had 17 kills and a .412 hitting percentage.
Lehigh and Army will meet again in the Patriot League semifinals, next Saturday at Gillis Field House at West Point, N.Y. American and Colgate will meet in the other semifinal.