The women's volleyball team huddles during their game against Toledo. Underclassmen make up a majority of the team’s roster. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Volleyball’s youth looks to reshape the program

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Head Coach Alexa Keckler said this upcoming season for the women’s volleyball team is an opportunity for the team to embrace their youth.

After going 3-6 in Patriot League play during the spring, Lehigh volleyball is ready for a quick turnaround this fall.  

The Mountain Hawks have already played six games in the fall of 2021, picking up their first two wins in the Lehigh Steel Tournament against St. Francis Brooklyn and Binghamton

Fifth-year outside hitter Hannah Wright said the team bonded over the course of their preseason which has applied to their play on the court.  

With five freshmen and six sophomores that make up a majority of the team’s 18 person roster, the underclassmen look to build a foundation for the future.  

Because the team is underclassman heavy, league competition has not seen a lot of the players. Despite the inexperience, Keckler knows her team has a lot of fight in them.

“They are not quitters,” Keckler said. 

Wright said that although a young team poses challenges, it has made every practice and game a learning experience.

Kyleigh Brown, Emily Stewart, Megan Schulte and Makenna Smith are four of the five freshmen who are competing for starting spots and are expected to make a big impact on the floor.

“Even though we are younger, we aren’t afraid to step up,” Brown said. “Whoever wants it more is going to take it.”

Schulte was just named Patriot League Rookie of the Week after recording 49 kills last week in the Lehigh Steel Tournament. 

With their first conference game on the horizon at Colgate on Sept. 17, the team looks to prove themself to their Patriot League opponents.

“We are going into conference with a chip on our shoulders and want to be known as the team that steps on the court and gives 110 percent, 100 percent of the time,” Wright said.

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