Lehigh cruises to straight-set victory over Saint Peter’s
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – In its final match before Patriot League play begins, the Lehigh volleyball team cruised to a three-set victory over Saint Peter’s Tuesday. Sophomore Paige Kruse led the way with 13 kills without committing an error on 16 attempts for a career-high .812 attack percentage. Nine different Mountain Hawks had at least one kill as the team set a season-high with a .358 attack percentage.
“They really played well and we wanted to make sure we didn’t beat ourselves,” said head coach Bob Bertucci. “We took care of the ball on our side of the net. Paige was unstoppable.”
Lehigh never trailed in the match as the Mountain Hawks got off to quick starts in each set and never relinquished their attack. Lehigh had 18 kills in the first set to just four errors for a .519 attack percentage. The Mountain Hawks attack was suffocating which led to Saint Peter’s struggling on its end. Lehigh had 12 and 14 kills in the second and third set respectively while Saint Peter’s managed just one in each of the sets.
Along with Kruse, senior Angelika Kopacz added nine kills on 11 attempts for an .818 attack percentage while sophomore Lizzy Silverstein and junior Taylor Poole had six kills apiece. Senior Jessica Kudirka had 22 assists while freshman Kaylynn Genemaras had a career-high 11 assists. Sophomore Rachel Charles had 13 digs while freshman Sarah Geigerich also had 13 digs setting a career-high.
“We got a lot of people in,” said Bertucci. “Our freshmen got a lot of playing time and we got a chance to make a lot of substitutions. It was good for us to be able to do that and still play well.”
It was an impressive performance as Lehigh gears up for the start of its Patriot League slate. The Mountain Hawks will host Army on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Leeman-Turner Arena. Army - the 2009 Patriot League Champion - was picked to finish second in the league this year in the preseason poll
With such a big match looming, Bertucci was happy that it didn’t distract them from the task at hand against Saint Peter’s.
“We definitely felt we had something to prove to ourselves that we could play a mid-week match on the road better than we have done so far this season,” said Bertucci. “That was our focus and the girls took the challenge the heart and I think this will continue to give them confidence heading into Friday.”