Posted: 09/21/2012 | Last updated: September 21, 2012 at 09:25 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s volleyball team dropped its Patriot League opener to Colgate on Friday night in straight sets, 3-0. Junior Lizzy Silverstein led the Mountain Hawk attack for the second straight match with eight kills on the night. The Mountain Hawks will continue league play tomorrow evening when the Bison of Bucknell will be welcomed into Leeman-Turner Arena inside Grace Hall.
"I thought the effort was good, especially in game three," said head coach Bob Bertucci. "I think the girls wanted to win and they played really hard and competed. That’s what we want them to do and I’m excited about that. They’ve showed me that they are committed to being a good team, the problem is we’re just a little too inconsistent."
In the first set, the Raiders started the match taking the first five points, but the Mountain Hawks battled back to get the game to a manageable 12-18. From there, Lehigh was able to rattle off four straight points to pull within two of the Raiders at 16-18 courtesy of a couple of attack errors by Colgate and a kill from freshman Ana Vrhel. The Raiders would prove to be too much after ending the set on a 7-6 run to take the first set, 25-22.
Set two started with the two teams trading points until an 8-8 stalemate. Colgate took the next two points after an attack error and a kill, but the Mountain Hawks rallied to tie the set at 11. The Mountain Hawks and Raiders would tie three times until the score was 15 apiece before Colgate spun off six consecutive points to take a commanding 21-15 lead. The next eight points were traded between the two teams but that was all Colgate needed to take the second set by a final score of 25-19.
The Mountain Hawks fell behind to start the third set 4-9 but were able to rally to tie the game at 11 after several kills from Silverstein. Lehigh was able to ride its momentum to take a 16-14 lead in the set when sophomore Jade Van Streepen recorded a kill but after a service error and a Raider kill, the score was tied, yet again, at 16. From there, the two teams would trade scores until Colgate was able to put together a few points to pull away 23-20. After Lehigh scored two points to pull within one, Colgate was able to score the remaining two points to take the set and the match, 25-21.
"Colgate played phenominal the entire time," said Bertucci. "We watched a lot of film on them and I think that was one of their best matches the entire year, so far. They came in here very well prepared and executed very well.’
Lehigh was led by Silverstein’s eight kills as she hit an impressive .429, while junior Amanda Clark was second with seven kills and Van Streepen was third with six. Three different Mountain Hawks recorded aces on the night, while freshman Amy Matula recorded a team-high 21 assists. On defense, junior Rachel Charles led the way with nine digs, while senior Taylor Poole registered five total blocks throughout the game.
The Mountain Hawks were not satisfied with the final outcome of the game but know they need to focus on the upcoming match with Bucknell as they will try to even their Patriot League record tomorrow night.
"Nobody was happy about the outcome but we have to let it go because we have another match tomorrow," said Bertucci. "We have to put it behind us and worry about Bucknell because they’re a good team and are going to come in here ready to play."
Lehigh will return to the court tomorrow evening when the Bucknell Bison will travel to Bethlehem to take on the Mountain Hawks in Patriot League play. The match is set to begin at 4 p.m. at Leeman-Turner Arena inside Grace Hall.