Posted: 09/14/2012 | Last updated: September 14, 2012 at 07:45 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Lehigh volleyball team knocked off Prairie View A&M on Friday night in straight sets to open the TCU Molten Invitational Tournament. Senior Taylor Poole and junior Amanda Clark each recorded 10 kills in the match to help Lehigh to its second win of the season. The Mountain Hawks did not allow the Panthers to take a lead in either of the first two matches, winning 25-19 in both before taking the third set battle, 25-23.
In the first set, Lehigh sprinted to a 9-4 lead over Prairie View, causing the Panthers to use their first timeout to try and slow the Mountain Hawks momentum. Out of the timeout, the four-point lead for the Mountain Hawks held until the score reached 20-16. From there, Lehigh scored three straight points to cushion its lead to seven and eventually finished off the set with a final score of 25-19 on a kill by freshman Ana Vrhel.
"We were very strong in the middle throughout the whole match with Ana and Taylor pretty much scoring at will," said head coach Bob Bertucci. "As long as we could get the ball to the middle, we were very effective."
Lehigh jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the second set but Prairie View battled back to make the score 11-10.e Lehigh proceeded to rattle off a 10-5 run to make the score 21-15. From there, the Mountain Hawks were able to score the final four points needed courtesy of two Poole kills to end the set, 25-19.
The third set was a battle between the two squads as Lehigh and Prairie View would tie nine times throughout the set, including an 18-18 standoff that left the set anyone’s game. From that point, Lehigh would go on a 7-5 run to end the set at a final score of 25-23, capped off by a kill from sophomore Kaylynn Genemaras.
Genemaras and Poole both hit over .400 for the match, recording hitting percentages of .429 and .421, respectively. Vrhel collected nine kills on the night, while junior setter Dana Raber notched 22 assists. Junior libero Rachel Charles recorded 13 digs, while six different Mountain Hawks served aces throughout the match.
"Taylor, Kaylynn and Ana all had really good games tonight," said Bertucci. "Kaylynn started to really come into her own."
The Mountain Hawks also got strong performances from some of the freshman on the night, including Leah Turner and Katie Troyan.
"Leah Turner came in off the bench and performed well all the way around including a good job passing, some tight defense, while also putting a lot of pressure on them (Prairie View) with the jump serve," said Bertucci. "Katie Troyan turned in a pretty good match with the passing and steady defense throughout the match and she’s starting to develop into someone that we can count on."
Lehigh will return to the court tomorrow at 12 p.m. (ET) when it takes on No. 3 Southern California (USC) before a Saturday night showdown with host Texas Christian (TCU) at 8 p.m. (ET).