Lehigh volleyball sophomores, outsider hitter Megan Schulte and middle blocker Emily Stewart were named to the All -Patriot League second team on Nov. 12. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Lehigh volleyball sophomores selected to All-Patriot League second team


Lehigh volleyball sophomores Megan Schulte and Emily Stewart were recently selected as All-Patriot League second team honorees. It was the first time since 2019 that two Mountain Hawks were chosen.

The team this season had no seniors, and the upperclassmen had fewer opportunities to play at the collegiate level due to the pandemic cutting their 2020 season short. 

Despite the challenge, Schulte, Stewart and the rest of the Mountain Hawks finished the season with a 13-15 record. Schulte, an outside hitter, led the team in kills with 324, and Stewart, a middle blocker, led in blocks with 138.

“I’m talking about two young women who are great role models on and off the court, who are academically on top of things and who are socially outgoing individuals.” coach Alexa Keckler said. “I think that’s a pretty great honor for them, especially as sophomores, encouraging them to continue to make improvements and strive to be the top players in the league in their junior and senior year.”

Schulte, a captain this season, said she felt more comfortable in her role, which helped her to build upon her leadership skills and success she had as a freshman. 

Schulte said she felt honored to be recognized by the Patriot League and her own teammates. 

In the team’s second to last match against American, Schulte recorded a career high 24 kills. She attributed her strong play to practicing daily and putting in the time. 

In reflecting on her teammate, Stewart said Schulte becoming a captain in just her sophomore year is telling of her hard work. 

“It’s kind of scary coming into a Division I program when you’re playing with fifth years and people who are 23 and 24 and you’re only 18 years old,” Stewart said. “I would say for her just coming in and being able to step up and being one of the main players on the team is pretty impressive.”

Stewart said she was surprised to receive the award but believed her success this season came from keeping a strong mentality, and not letting the team’s record or the outcome of a previous match affect the way she enters every game.

Schulte said Stewart was a reliable teammate on the court this season. 

“She’s one of those players that I feel like she’s a go-to girl,” Schulte said. “You can send her the ball and it’ll almost always be a kill or in moments of need, she’s always there to make a play even when other people can’t. I think she’s also a really good leader in terms of her work ethic on and off the court.”

Even though they received individual awards, both Stewart and Schulte said the team’s dynamic and sense of community played big roles in helping them improve this season. 

In preparing for next season, Stewart said incorporating the incoming freshman class and further developing the culture of the team will be important. 

“Just because Emily (Stewart) and I received the honor doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole team behind us who’ve helped us get there,” Schulte said. “Our team culture has really been a big thing, just showing up to the weight room, in the classroom, at practices and showing up 100%.”

On Nov. 23, Schulte and Stewart were additionally named to the CSC Academic All-District Team for their combined academic and athletic achievements.

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