Posted: November 2, 2005
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – It took four games, the last of which was one of the longest in recent memory, but Lehigh found just enough at the end to hold off Loyola 3-1 Wednesday night in the Mountain Hawks’ final non-league match at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Game scores were 32-30, 30-20, 24-30 and then a remarkable 42-40 in the fourth and final game, as the Mountain Hawks win their fourth straight non-league match and improve to 7-19 on the season. The loss drops the Greyhounds to 7-20 in 2005.
Game one was a back and forth affair throughout, with the largest lead being Lehigh’s 21-17 advantage. Things tightened up however and extra points were needed to decide the opening game. The Mountain Hawks dodged a pair of game points and a combination block by senior Morgan Volkart and Julia Atkins gave Lehigh the two point win and a 1-0 lead in the match.
Things came much easier for Lehigh in game two. The Mountain Hawks raced to a 12-1 lead and never looked back, as they went up 2-0. The Greyhounds would not go quietly however, as Loyola took advantage of eleven Lehigh attack errors to win a game and stay alive in the match.
The fourth game was another close affair, but midway through it appeared as Lehigh would pull away. The Mountain Hawks built a five point advantage at 21-16, but once again the Greyhounds came battling back. Lehigh was stuck at 29 with two match points when Loyola came back to even the score, and that’s when things got wacky. From that point the teams traded points back and forth, with neither team able to finish the other off. A Michelle Schwendenmann kill evened things at 38, ensuring the game would be played to 40, at least. Finally, Lehigh broke through, with the game tied at 40. A Shannon Spafford kill gave the Mountain Hawks the lead; and then Julia Atkins slammed an unassisted kill to give the Mountain Hawks the victory in the marathon game and clinch the match for the Brown and White.
“That was an amazing match,” head coach Amanda Moran said afterwards. “In the past the girls would sit back and wait for someone else to make something happen, but tonight everyone got after it. Everyone got a hit. Everyone got involved. The girls did a really good job.”
Schwendenmann led the Mountain Hawks with 21 kills and added 12 digs to notch another double-double. Volkart and Spafford added 12 kills apiece for Lehigh. Defensively, Cassidy Maumus tallied 20 digs, while freshman Liz McGehee notchd 14 to go with 31 assists. Nikky Barnes added 12 digs, as four Mountain Hawks tallied double-figure digs. Atkins contributed in several different areas with nine kills, four aces and eight block assists.
Becky Corb of Loyola led all players with 23 kills. Jamie Arndt tallied 25 digs for the Greyhounds. Lehigh had a .177 hitting percentage on the night, while Loyola hit .169
The Mountain Hawks will return to the court on Friday night as they will host Bucknell. The match gets underway at 7:00 from Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall.