Posted: September 22, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh came close to getting its first victory of the 2006 season, but the Navy Midshipmen stopped the Mountain Hawks on Friday night at the Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall. Trailing 2-1, the Mids won the fourth game in order to force a decisive game five. Navy completed its comeback, winning the fifth game and taking the match 3-2. Game scores were 22-30, 30-28, 26-30, 31-29 and 15-9. The Mountain Hawks now fall to 0-15 on the season and 0-2 in the Patriot League. Navy, who played in its first league match, improves to 6-8 on the season and 1-0 in the Patriot League.
“I couldn’t have asked for anymore,” said head coach Amanda Moran. “They gave everything they had. Everybody performed at some point for us. We caught a couple of bad breaks, but we did awesome as a team. It was a phenomenal match and I’m very proud of the team.”
Continues Moran, “The fans for the last two matches have been incredible. They have helped us through and we appreciate them coming out to support us.”
Before a boisterous crowd of 232 people, the Mountain Hawks controlled the scoring in the first game. Although the teams remained close through ten points, Lehigh only trailed in scoring once when Navy had a 10-9 lead. The Mountain Hawks tied the game at 10-10 off a kill by freshman Brittany Thurston. Lehigh took the 11-10 lead in the game when Navy’s Megan Boyd committed an attack error. However, the Mids evened the score off an error by freshman Mo McReynolds. But the Brown and White took the lead for the final time of the game on the next play when Jessie Sims committed a service error.
The Mountain Hawks had a chance to capture game two after they stormed back to tie the game 21-21. With Lehigh leading the game 28-27, Navy came back to score three points to take game two and even the match at 1-1.
Lehigh earned its second game win of the night, and its fourth of the season, when the Mountain Hawks took game three in a closely fought contest. In game four, Lehigh rallied to tie the game at 20-all as the two teams battled to be the first one to 30 points. Trailing 28-29 in the last critical points of the game, the Mountain Hawks tied the game 29-29 off an error by Nikki England. However, the Mids were able to get the last two points they needed in order to survive the match and force a decisive game five.
After a 6-6 tie, Navy took control of the final game’s scoring, never trailing for the remainder of the match.
Lehigh had more kills (72-54), assists (64-48), service aces (10-8) and digs (82-76) than the Midshipmen. Two Mountain Hawks recorded double-doubles in the match—senior Michelle Schwendenmann and Thurston. For Schwendenmann, it was her third double-double of the season as she had a match-high of 24 kills and 15 digs. Thurston got her first collegiate double-double with a season-high 16 kills and team-high 16 digs. Freshman Sarah Wolfe paced the Brown and White’s offensive effort, having a match and season-high of 56 assists. As a team, the Mountain Hawks had a match-best .289 hitting percentage for the first game.
Navy was led by Jessie Sims and Nikki England, who each had a double-double. Sims had a team-high 17 kills and a match-high 21 digs while England had 14 kills and 14 digs. Mariellen Carnes had 45 assists for the Mids.
“We’ll see how we come back next week,” said Moran. “We have played some very close matches against both American and Navy. The girls have become more and more confident after every match. They are very positive about this, knowing that just one or two points made the difference.”
Lehigh will return to action on Friday, September 29 at the Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall when the Mountain Hawks host the Bucknell Bison. Match time is set for 7:00pm.