Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Lowe slides to the ground after hitting the volleyball during practice on Oct. 10, 2014 in Grace Hall. The team is warming up for their game the following day at American University. (Elissa Miolene/ B&W Photo)

Volleyball comes out on top with back-to-back wins


The Lehigh women’s volleyball team earned back-to-back victories this weekend against both Lafayette College and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a pair of 3-0 wins. With the wins, the Mountain Hawks have a 7-2 conference record and a 14-9 record overall.

The volleyball team has been a part of the Patriot League Tournament more than 15 times in program history, but they have not won a championship since 1997. However, if the Mountain Hawks continue to serve, set and kill the ball the way they have been thus far this season, coach Bob Bertucci may receive the first Patriot League Championship trophy of his career.

Having previously beaten Lafayette 3-1 this season, the Mountain Hawks were confident they could get the job done Friday night. Senior Kaylynn Genemaras was happy about her team’s win, but she felt they got a little too comfortable when the team was up at times.

“I think that when we got a very big lead we kind of got a little bit more relaxed and weren’t more urgent to win the game,” Genemaras said. “Therefore, they are able to come back in a couple of the games.”

With only three games needed to win a match, the teams must stay on their toes at all times. However, Genemaras was pleased with how her team kept its composure.

“I think throughout the whole game everyone had a very positive attitude, and even if they did come back we were able to still get it together and win the game,” she said.

Having been a part of the program for four years, Genemaras wants a little bit more than just a Patriot League Tournament appearance for her senior year.

“Our season goal coming into this season was to make it to the Patriot League finals, as every year we always got kicked out of the semi finals,” Genemaras said. “So, our goal is to make it to the finals and then hopefully win the whole thing.”

Having only lost to Colgate University and American University in the Patriot League thus far, the Mountain Hawks stand a fighting chance.

So much success in a team’s season is due to commitment, discipline, practice and, of course, a great coaching staff. Assistant coach Gavin Watt said that blocking will be key to the team’s continued success.

“We are there at the ball,” Watt said. “We just need to penetrate a bit more and then we will have a few more points in the game. And that’s the most important thing. Our passing is good, we are serving it good and our team is really connected to our setter. So as long as we block a bit better, we can see ourselves going further and further as a team.”

Watt seems excited about the team’s success as well thus far in his second year coaching in Bethlehem. Coming off of a win from the night before, the Mountain Hawks were confident in their ability to win.

“We played well and got the job done,” senior Jade Van Streepen said. “Playing back-to-back games can be tricky at times because teams have no practice time to fix any wrongdoings before the next game.”

However, the Mountain Hawks were able to get the job done and fix it.

“We improved on our serving from yesterday and also did a really good job using the middle hitters,” Van Streepen said.

With only seven games left in the regular season, Lehigh’s volleyball team is focused and ready to make a statement this season. The Mountain Hawks will continue their season in West Point, New York, in a game against Army on Friday, Oct. 24.

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