Posted: October 25, 2005
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh stepped away from Patriot League play on Tuesday night and opened up a six match home stand with a 3-1 win over La Salle at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Game scores were 30-19, 30-27, 25-30 and 30-25 as the Mountain Hawks utilized strong starts in winning the first two games and then battled from behind in game three to notch their third straight non-league win. The victory improves Lehigh’s overall record to 6-17 while the Explorers fall to 9-17 with the loss.
“Tonight it was a matter of our girls just getting it done,” said head coach Amanda Moran. “We put together two good games early when we needed them, then we began to realize where we were making mistakes and corrected them in game four.
In game one Lehigh raced to a 10-3 lead and never looked back. The Mountain Hawks allowed La Salle within two at 14-12 but after another spurt Lehigh cruised to an eleven point victory.
The Mountain Hawks built a 2-0 lead in the match, once again propelled by a fast start in game two. The key stretch of the game came with Lehigh up 15-13, The Mountain Hawks went on a 5-0 run that featured four service aces from sophomore Julia Atkins including three in a row. The Brown and White finished with 14 aces on the evening.
After falling behind early and dropping game the Mountain Hawks turned it on late in game four. A back and forth game, Lehigh was trailing 19-18 before rolling off six straight points to take control. The knockout blow was a kill by sophomore Shannon Spafford at match point, her 13th of the match, which gave Lehigh the well earned victory.
Michelle Schwendenmann led Lehigh with 22 kills and a .241 hitting percentage. Her 11 digs gave her a double-double on the night. Spafford was the only other Mountain Hawk with double figure kills. Atkins had a huge night serving the ball, recording nine of Lehigh’s 14 aces to go along with eight kills. Lehigh out hit La Salle on the night .127 to .080.
Defensively the Mountain Hawks had four players record double figure digs, with Cassidy Maumus notching 16, Kat Lafferty 14 and Nikky Barnes 13 to go along with Schwendenmann’s 11. Lehigh also had eight team blocks, of which Spafford was responsible for four.
Jackie Kushman led La Salle with 13 kills, while Carolyn Judge tallied a match high 18 digs.
Lehigh will return to the court on Friday night when the Mountain Hawks resume their Patriot League slate against Navy. The match gets underway at 7:00 and will be broadcast online at lehighsports.com with streaming provided by Yahoo! Sports.