The Lehigh women’s volleyball team came out strong for its first home game Sept. 4 beating St. Peters University 3-0 (25-11, 25-9, 25-13).
The Mountain Hawks led St. Peters 19-9 at the first timeout in Game 1 with seniors on the team showing great leadership to the incoming freshman, as well as a solid team dynamic. The Hawks ended with a 25-11 win in Game 1.
The success of the team in Game 1 was driven by the offense, whose strength carried on throughout the rest of the match.
“For our success today we really needed to hit well because last weekend we hit only around .100,” senior hitter Stephanie Slater said. “Hitting and attacking was something we didn’t focus as much on in preseason and needed to focus on today in order to win.”
The team was able to take control, thanks largely in part to senior setter Amy Matula who was able to keep the offense moving, allowing hitters to hit full swings and maximize on the opponent’s errors.
“I think we didn’t play down to the level of them so we pushed ahead and controlled on our side of the court rather than playing to their level and making unnecessary mistakes,” Slater said.
The Mountain Hawks did not let up in Game 2, with senior outside hitter Leah Turner serving the Hawks to an 8-0 lead. Throughout the second game the defense stayed strong, which was key in securing the win. The Mountain Hawks won 25-9, with a kill from Slater.
In Game 3, the Mountain Hawks did not let up with freshman Megan Polak serving the team to a nine-point lead. Game 3 proved no problem for the Hawks, as they ended the game with a 25-13 win and a 3-0 overall match win.
“We serve received really well, and our attackers were really aggressive and went after the ball,” assistant coach Gavin Watt said. “It is crucial that every single player contributes to the team for us to be successful.”
Overall, sophomore outside hitter Whitney Krantz led the Mountain Hawks with 22 kills and seven blocks. Slater followed close behind with 15 kills. It was clear that the Mountain Hawks had no dependence on just a single player, with senior outside hitter Leah Turner and middle blocker Ana Vrhel each recording 13 kills. As much as the front row contributed to scoring, senior setter Claire Bradshaw led the team in defense with a total of 18 digs.
Overall, the Mountain Hawks came out strong, proving that their preseason paid off.
“Our passing was really there, which makes everything a lot easier so passers did a really good job…this allows the offense to convert and score,” Vrhel said.
However, Vrhel also said there were some things the team could do better.
“I think we needed to clean up some small things whether it was balls that we weren’t covering (off the block), and balls that we could have gotten to but I think overall we did well,” she said.
Coming off of a four-match win in the Crosstown Invitational, the Mountain Hawks will face Villanova University at Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.