Posted: October 14, 2005
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
Trailing two games to none against arch rival Lafayette, Lehigh battled back to force a fifth and deciding game, but it was not enough as the Mountain Hawks fell to the Leopards 3-2 Friday night in front of a spirited crowd at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Game scores were 30-28, 30-24, 26-30 24-30 and 15-9. The Mountain Hawks had four players record double figure kills and battled hard all night, but in the end fell to 4-15 on the season, 0-7 in the Patriot League. Lafayette
improves to 11-9, 2-5 in league matches.
“It was an awesome match,” said head coach Amanda Moran. “Even though we lost the team effort was great. The girls were really hustling; they were throwing their bodies all over the floor going for balls.”
Lehigh raced to a 6-1 lead in game one before Lafayette battled back. The game was tightly contested throughout. With the game tied at 16, the Leopards built a three point lead and were able to hold that lead throughout. Lehigh came within two points several times, but Lafayette built a 1-0 lead. The lead would grow to 2-0 as Lafayette took an early lead in game two, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Mountain Hawks came out inspired in game three, grasping and maintaining an early lead. The Leopards lead 1-0 but wouldn’t lead again, as Lehigh was able to take the lead and hold it. Lehigh never led by more than four points in the game, but Michelle Schwendenmann’s kill on game point forced a fourth game, and the Mountain Hawks would continue their valiant comeback.
With game four tied at five, Lehigh exploded on a 9-0 run, a series that saw three blocks from sophomore Julia Atkins. The Mountain Hawks controlled game four throughout, although a Lafayette run cut the Mountain Hawks lead to two at 20-18, but Lehigh reeled off 10 of the last 16 points to force a fifth and deciding game.
In game five Lafayette took the momentum early, taking advantage of seven attack errors in the deciding game. The Leopards built a six point lead, and finished off the five game thriller as Veronica Canto-Ponce delivered one of her match high 22 kills.
“For us to come back from being down 0-2 was really big for our confidence," said Moran. “I was pleased with the effort, especially from our seniors who stepped up. The match really could have gone either way.”
Schwendenmann led four Mountain Hawks in double figures with 19 kills. Atkins added 13 to go with six total blocks. Senior Morgan Volkart and sophomore Shannon Spafford had 10 apiece for Lehigh, who hit .147 for the match. Junior Cassidy Maumus tallied 35 digs, to lead four Mountain Hawks in double figures. Senior Nikky Barnes had 18, freshman Elizabeth McGehee 16 and sophomore Kathleen Lafferty had 10. McGehee also had 34 assists, while Lafferty dished out 19.
Canto-Ponce finished with 22 kills and 19 digs for the Leopards, who hit .152 for the match. Michaela Donohue added 17 kills and 19 digs for Lafayette.
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Wednesday when they will host Wagner. Lehigh defeated the Seahawks 3-0 earlier this season at the Villanova Volleyball Classic. The match gets underway at 7:00 and will be broadcast online at lehighsports.com, with streaming audio and video provided by Yahoo! Sports.