Lehigh victorious in JMU Tourney opener
Harrisonburg, Va. – The Lehigh volleyball team returned to their winning ways on Friday with a 3-1 victory over Delaware State in the opening match of the JMU Tournament. Freshmen Courtney McCutchan and Dana Raber and juniors Angelika Kopacz and Jessica Kudirka each recorded double-doubles as the Mountain Hawks improved to 4-5 on the season.
Lehigh took the first set by a score of 25-18, but fell in the second frame by a 25-17 margin. The Brown and White responded in the third set with a narrow 25-23 victory, before closing out the match with a 25-21 triumph in the fourth set.
“We were happy to get the win tonight and find out more about ourselves,” Lehigh head coach Jenny Maurer said. “We cleaned up several aspects of our game, but most importantly, we showed a lot of improvement mentally.”
Kopacz led the team with 17 kills in addition to 16 digs. McCutchan continued her breakout freshman campaign with 13 kills and 13 digs, while Kudirka posted a 26-assist, 15-dig performance and Raber added a 15-assist, 12-dig effort. Freshman Rachel Charles led the way with 24 digs and sophomore Taylor Poole chipped in with 11 kills and a .400 hitting percentage.
“Our setters were really connecting better with the hitters,” Maurer added. “We have more offense than we’ve ever had. Our defense was very solid, we cut down on errors from behind the service line and our attack game was better.”
Sarah Wheatcroft led the Hornets with 11 kills, Sonja Banicevic posted 25 digs and Martina Ferrari added a game-high 37 assists.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Lehigh and gave the Brown and White their first win over Delaware State since 1998. The Mountain Hawks return to action on Saturday with a doubleheader against Loyola (Md.) at 10:00 a.m. and host James Madison at 7:30 p.m.