The Lehigh women’s volleyball team fought and received its 11th straight win over rival Lafayette College, toppling the Leopards with a final score of 3-0.
“I thought the girls played real well…I think we controlled the ball on our side pretty well,” head coach Bob Bertucci said.
Impressive serves, kills and digs all helped contribute to the win. Junior Stephanie Slater had a total of six kills, senior Jade Van Streeppen had eight kills and sophomore Morgan Lowe recorded a team-best nine kills to go along with her nine digs.
In the first set, Lehigh scored the first two points, wakening Lafayette to quickly respond with six of the next seven points, taking the lead 6-3. The Mountain Hawks instantly reacted with kills from junior Ana Vrhel and Slater, making it 10-7. The Leopards and Mountain Hawks battled back and forth until the end. Lafayette, with a tremendous comeback from 14-9, cut the score close to ultimately tie it 18-18. The two teams battled it out for the win, and Lehigh was finally able to nab the necessary two points, finishing the set at 26-24.
Switching sides, Lehigh and Lafayette clashed early in the second game. With a tie of 2-2, Lehigh broke the score, leading 7-4 after winning five of the next seven points. Lowe had a significant kill that gave the Mountain Hawks momentum to continue the lead 19-9. Pulling away to 23-13, Lehigh and the fans believed they were finished before the game was even over. The Leopards had five straight points to cut Lehigh off but came up short with the final score in favor of Lehigh, 25-18.
In the last game, Lehigh stepped onto the court on a mission to get its final win. The Mountain Hawks came out taking the first five points in the set. Lafayette responded taking the next five points. Lehigh, refusing to let its opponent get the lead in this game, slowly pulled away from the Leopards, ultimately getting a 25-18 victory.
“Tonight was a crucial turning point for us because it was the first game of the second half of our season, and we’re coming off two tough losses, so this game really could have gone either way,” Lowe said. “We really focused on just controlling the ball on our side of the net and keeping our composure and trusting that the game would fall into place from there.”
Junior Amy Matula finished with 28 assists, and sophomore Mariah Brantley had a team-best of 11 digs.
“We caught stride,” Bertucci said. “Once we starting catching stride, building confidence, we looked pretty good.”
For Lowe, the most important thing the Mountain Hawks did was maintain composure and control of the game.
“While it was close at times, I don’t think we ever felt like we didn’t have control of the game, so we just needed to stay focused on that,” she said.