Lehigh's volleyball team practices at Grace hall on Oct. 17. The team is on the hunt for a spot in the Patriot League tournament. (Klaudia Jazwinska, B&W Staff)

Volleyball hopes for success against PL opponents

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The Mountain Hawk volleyball team continues Patriot League play this weekend away as they face Army on Friday and the College of Holy Cross on Saturday.

The team looks to improve on its 7-2 Patriot League record and its overall record of 14-9. The team has already played against both opponents in September, with both matches resulting in three consecutive set wins.

The Black Knights of Army are going into Friday’s game against Lehigh on a three-game winning streak. Even though Lehigh defeated Army 3-0 win the teams’ previous match, the Hawks have been working hard in preparation for the game this week.

“Our assistant coach Gavin has been hitting at us the way the Army hitters hit at us so he has been trying to mimic Army’s offense to help our defense,” sophomore Kianna Carroll said.

The team’s main focus this week has been the defense and adjusting to both Holy Cross and Army’s offense.

“To prepare for the weekend, we have to identify the strengths of both Army and Holy Cross,” junior right-side hitter Stephanie Slater said. “We adjusted our blocking and defense in order to be better prepared.”

The Mountain Hawks are currently ranked second in the Patriot League and are striving to secure a spot in the Patriot League tournament. Two wins this weekend would improve the team’s chances. The rankings in Patriot League are constantly changing and anyone is capable of making the tournament.

“We have a better chance of making it into the Patriot league tournament if we beat Army and Holy Cross,” Kianna said.

Holy Cross is struggling this season with a 5-14 record and Lehigh hopes to defeat them in Patriot League play this weekend.

“We just got sent film so we have been watching film of our latest game against Holy Cross and have been using that to prepare,” sophomore Taylor Carroll said.

The team is looking to win with the help some key players such as Slater, and sophomores Morgan Lowe and Mariah Brantley. Slater leads the team with 179 kills from the right side, and Lowe is second with 172 kills. Brantley leads the defense with 421 digs as the libero. The team looks to combine the talents of these key players to achieve good team chemistry and win more games.

“Some of our goals this weekend are to make sure that in tight situations we play together as a team and keep our energy,” Taylor said.

High energy and keeping the winning mentality going will help Lehigh reach its goal of winning its two games this weekend.

“Ultimately our goals for the weekend are to win both of our games,” Slater said. “It would be great to play two games where we control the ball on our side of the court and minimize our own errors.”

The Mountain Hawks will travel to Army for the game Friday at 7 p.m. They will continue their trip up to Holy Cross for a game on Saturday at 4 p.m.

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