American spoils Lehigh's return to Grace Hall
Posted: October 23, 2003
Lehigh opened the newly christened Leeman-Turner Arena Thursday night with a Patriot League showdown with league leader American.
Although the Mountain Hawks kept it close throughout, they came up on the short end of a 3-0 match score.
American (12-8, 8-0) came in undefeated in league play, and showed why as they consistently led throughout much of the night. Returning Patriot League Player of the Year Karla Kucerkova had an outstanding night, posting 27 kills in only three games.
Lehigh (14-10, 5-3) received a big effort from freshman Michelle Schwendenmann, who was the only Mountain Hawk in double figures in kills with 15. Allison Jack had 30 assists to go along with 5 digs. Senior libero Jill Kober led the team with 8 digs, good enough to become only the 10th player in Lehigh history to surpass 1000 digs in her career.
Head coach Patrick Nicholas was frustrated with the team’s overall play. “We made too many mistakes tonight,” said Nicholas. “We didn’t pass well, we didn’t serve real well – you just can’t do those things and expect to beat a team like American. I thought we came out strong, but just played undisciplined for most of the night.”
Kober, a walk-on to the team, reached the milestone on the last point of the game. “She is a tremendous player,” said Nicholas. “She is probably one of the top liberos in the league, and really has achieved the bulk of this in only two years.”
The loss spoiled the return of the team to Grace Hall, which was being refurbished for the last year. “The place is amazing. I’ve seen a lot of volleyball venues over the years, but what they have done to it now, its got to be one of the top facilities in the country,” said Nicholas.
Lehigh continues their season Friday night as Navy comes to town for a game.