The Lehigh women's volleyball team lost on the road to Lafayette in four sets on Sept. 16. (Courtesy of Drew Parker/BW staff)

Lehigh volleyball loses first Patriot League match, falls to 8-4


The Lehigh women’s volleyball team fell to Lafayette Friday night on the road in four sets. This was the team’s first Patriot League match this season.

There was a crowd of 470 in attendance to watch the rivalry match at the Kirby Sports Center.

“I think that the Lehigh Lafayette rivalry always has a lot of emotions with it,” coach Alexa Keckler said. “To me, it’s just another match.”

Both teams were fairly even to start the match and were tied 8-8 in the first set. Lafayette then went on a 9-4 run to put the Leopards up 17-12, forcing Keckler to call a timeout. 

Despite the timeout, Lafayette went on to win the set 25-18.

In the second set, the Mountain Hawks got off to a 10-7 lead which led to a Lafayette timeout. After a run from Lafayette, they regained the lead at 17-15.

With Lafayette threatening to take a 2-0 set lead, Lehigh responded with two straight blocks at the net to go up 18-17, before going on a 3-0 run a few plays later to lead 22-19. From there, they were able to finish off the set and win it 25-21.

“A lot of those points in the second set showcased how we can really play,” sophomore outside hitter Gracie Kiser said. 

Much of Lehigh’s success came from the play of sophomore outside hitter Megan Schulte, who finished with 19 of the team’s 40 kills in the match.  Schulte is continuing to show out, posting a team-high 132 kills over the team’s first 12 matches, with the next most kills at 89.

The third set started off strong for Lehigh, with the Mountain Hawks jumping out to a 10-5 lead after a 6-1 run. Yet, the Leopards came back, going on a 10-3 run of their own to take the lead back 15-13.

From there, multiple long rallies ensued, with each team trading 3-0 runs to eventually tie the set up at 22-22. A final 3-0 run from the Leopards sealed the set for them, giving them a 2-1 lead.

Lafayette then took a 5-0 lead to begin set four.

“We can’t dig ourselves a five-point hole and then expect to get out of it against teams that are tough,” Keckler said. “We’ve got to eliminate our unforced errors, just way too many errors.”

The Mountain Hawks battled in the set, but Lafayette was able to stop Lehigh from taking a lead, winning 25-19 to finish off the match in 4 sets.

Freshman outside hitter Drew Brown said the team lacked confidence at some points during the match. 

Coach Keckler said her team needed to improve on “less attacking errors and more consistent serving.”

Despite the loss, Brown said the team also took away some positives in their first conference match. 

“I think we learned a lot because this is what our conference matches are going to be like,” Brown said. “So I just think we need to be a little tougher with our shot selection and I think we’ll be fine.”

Lehigh, now 8-4, will travel to UPenn on Sept. 20, where they’ll look to recover from the defeat in a non-Patriot League match. 

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