Electric atmosphere fuels Lehigh’s 3-1 home win over Penn
09/17/2021 | 19 o’clock
BETHLEHEM, Pennsylvania – The Lehigh volleyball team put on another exciting feat in front of Grace Hall worshipers Tuesday night, beating Penn in four straight sets (25-21, 22-25, 27-25, 25-20) for a three game lost streak just before the start of the game in the Patriot League at the weekend. Outside hitters Megan Schulte, 18) and Hannah Wright (15) combined 33 of the Mountain Hawks’ 61 kills (3-7) that night, with Schulte adding 10 digs.
The Mountain Hawks put together a fantastic final two sets, scoring .357 and .393, respectively, with just seven errors on Penn’s 17.
“That was definitely an exciting game for us tonight,” said head coach Alexa Keckler. “The crowd was great and offensively we started to make some real connections which was great to see. I think in the last few games we had we were head to head and we didn’t prevail. So above all I am i really proud of the way our girls played.
“When it came down to the wire and they put pressure on, we were able to get the last few points and get business done.”
Lehigh put together an impressive first set to gain an early advantage as the Mountain Hawks led from the fourth point of the set, taking three of the last four and the 25-21 win.
An early lead in the second set was in sight for Lehigh as the team took control from the start and scored seven out of eight points with a 10-10 tie to take a comfortable 16-11 lead. However, Penn went on a 14-6 run to close the set and take a three-point win.
The last two sets were electric as the Mountain Hawks dominated both pins, led by the standout game from Schulte and Wright, along with contributions from Sabrina Lancaster and Emily Stewart. Set 3 was neck-to-neck throughout, but it was the Mountain Hawks who fought and prevailed, winning seven of the last 10, including three straight on two Penn matchpoints to win at 27:25.
Roll the tape! 📹
Highlights of a BIG win over Penn at Grace Hall Tuesday night! #GoLehigh | #DoRight pic.twitter.com/803e3jUKiU
– Lehigh Volleyball (@LehighVBall) Sep 15, 2021 The Quakers struggled to keep things close on the last set of the night, but the Mountain Hawks made an 8-3 run led by three big kills from Stewart to the 25 to get -20 win and match win against Penn.
While Schulte and Wright Lehigh topped the statistics, Stewart finished with 10 kills and five blocks. Lancaster added eight kills and hit .353 while Lylah Washington had six. Freshman setter Makena Smith registered 49 assists with 12 digs and five blocks to pace the team, while libero Ally Thaw had six assists team-high 17 digs in his sophomore year.
Wright hit .455, Schulte hit .302, Lancaster hit .353, and Stewart hit .350 while the Mountain Hawks hit .293 as a team for the evening.
“Overall, it was a great night for us,” said Keckler. “One of the things that we talked about as a team all weekend was the flow and spread of our offensive and it was great to see Emily (Stewart) getting connections. She had a great game tonight. Hannah ( Wright) didn’t have “many flaws. They just played smarter offensively than we had to at the beginning of the season, so I’m happy for all of our girls. You worked really hard to get over that hump and tonight was a great achievement from many individuals. A complete team effort tonight. “
Lehigh blocked Penn out at 13-4, while the Mountain Hawks dug up the Quakers (63-59) and dealt with more assists (56-40).
The Mountain Hawks kick off the Patriot League game on Friday with a 7pm matchup at Colgate, Hamilton, followed by a 7pm meetup at the defending champions Army West Point on Saturday night at 7pm.
“I think we have to enjoy this win and tomorrow take a look at the things we have struggled with in the last few days,” said Keckler. “We have to be ready to be aggressive and limit our casual mistakes and if we do I think we will be ready to compete with these teams.”
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In conversation with Emily Stewart after Lehigh beat Penn 3-1 at home. 🗣
10 kills and five blocks for the freshman middle blocker 👀 # GoLehigh | #DoRight pic.twitter.com/jkhntqAnWF
– Lehigh Volleyball (@LehighVBall) September 15, 2021