The Lehigh volleyball team celebrates a point on Sept. 23 at Grace Hall. The team lost to Lafayette in four sets on Oct. 23 at Grace Hall. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh women’s volleyball loses second rivalry match to Lafayette in four sets


Lehigh volleyball fell to rival Lafayette in four sets for the second time this season on Oct. 23 at Grace Hall.

The Mountain Hawks found themselves down early in the first set after a 3-0 run from Lafayette, but a combined four service errors from the Leopards left the teams trading points to tie at 19. 

Lehigh kept things close but lost the first set 25-21.

The Mountain Hawks then fought back with eight blocks to win the second set. 

Neither team reached a lead of over four points for the entire set. Both sides were locked at 22 apiece when Lehigh sophomore captain Megan Schulte came into serve and led the Mountain Hawks to a 25-23 victory with an ace.

Lafayette took the third set after some miscommunications from the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh called two timeouts early and went on a scoring run to bring the score to 23-22. Lafayette’s captain Abby Nieport would put the third set away with an ace to send the Mountain Hawks down 2-1.

Lafayette carried the momentum to an 8-0 scoring run to begin the third set. Lehigh freshman Arden Below led the team to five unanswered points to bring the Mountain Hawks to within three, but they would end up losing 25-22. 

Lafayette ended up winning the fourth set 25-19 to seal the game.

Lehigh coach Alexa Keckler said the team’s struggles were due to their inability to score off of wide sets. 

“We’re just not getting two consistent hitters to do their jobs and that’s really hurting us,” Keckler said.

Lehigh led both teams in blocks with 31 compared to Lafayette’s 10. 

Freshman middle blocker Madison McCartney led all players in blocks with 10, and sophomore middle blocker Emily Stewart had six.

In looking at the loss, sophomore libero Kyleigh Brown said the team needs to work on minimizing their mistakes. 

“Limiting our errors and winning the serve-receive battle could really help move us forward,” Brown said.  

Schulte said as the season continues, the team needs to work on the placement of their hits to keep division opponents on their toes. 

“Working to develop our toolbox and our shot selection should be vital to winning these close matches,” Schulte said.

In spite of the loss, Schulte said the team still remains confident looking ahead.  

The Mountain Hawks are not yet out of the race to clinch a Patriot League tournament berth, but need to win at least two of their final five games. 

The team will travel to West Point, New York on Oct. 28 to face Army and then to Holy Cross on Oct. 29.

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