Lehigh falls to Army in four sets Saturday
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Despite a match-high 16 kills from Paige Kruse, the Lehigh volleyball team (14-8, 6-3 PL) fell in four sets to Army (17-6, 8-1 PL) on Saturday. Kruse was part of a trio of Mountain Hawks whom had at least 10 kills but Lehigh was unable to take advantage. The match was tied 1-1 but the Mountain Hawks dropped the final two sets, snapping a five-match winning streak.
Lehigh got out to a quick start in the first set with a 7-3 lead. Army came back to eventually even the set at 11-11 before the taking the lead 16-13. Down 21-18, Lehigh then scored three five straight points to take a 23-21 lead. Army then scored the next two to even the set at 23-23. But after a Lehigh timeout, the Black Knights came out and scored two more points to win the set 25-23.
“Army was competing and making it tough on us and every point we scored, we really had,” said head coach Bob Bertucci. “Paige played well and we had a number of players played well, but we didn’t have everyone involved like we needed them to be.”
“I think we had the first game won and let it get away from us,” said Bertucci. “We win that game and it may have changed the whole dynamic. We let that slip away and then it was twice as hard.”
The Mountain Hawks didn’t let the first-set loss get to them however. With Army holding a 22-18 lead, Lehigh stormed back to score seven consecutive points to win the set 25-22. It was an impressive run and it looked as if momentum had swung to the Mountain Hawks.
The always important third set was close as Army was clinging to a 13-12 lead. But the Black Knights quickly opened things up with three straight points to take a 16-12 lead and then after Lehigh got a point back, Army put together five straight points for a 21-13 lead en route to a 25-16 third-set victory.
The fourth set was all Army as it got out to a 10-4 lead and would not relinquish it was the Black Knights took the set and the match 25-14.
Along with Kruse, Courtney McCutchan had 11 kills while Angelika Kopacz had 10 kills.
Army was led by Ariana Mankus who had 15 kills while Megan Wilton and Francine Vasquez added 14 and 11 kills, respectively.
Lehigh will look to rebound from the loss when it travels for a non-league match against Delaware State Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Mountain Hawks next league match will be Friday, October 28th at 7 p.m. at Lafayette.