Crusaders Drop Heartbreaker, Fall to Lehigh in Five Saturday Night
WORCESTER, Mass. - Sophomore Rachel Harding posted a match-best 15 kills while freshman Regan Wright picked up her team-leading fifth double-double of the season, but the Holy Cross volleyball team dropped a heartbreaker, falling to Lehigh in a five-set battle on Homecoming Saturday night.
Harding registered her fourth double-double of the season, adding 14 digs to her 15 kills, while Wright finished the night with 11 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and a match-high five aces. Rookie Skye Daval-Santos picked up 29 digs to lead both sides, while sophomore Katie Kerins was a part of seven of the team’s 12 blocks, owning the only solo stuff of the contest for the Crusaders (3-14, 2-2 Patriot League). Kerins added (11 kills, 3 aces) and frosh Johnna Shamley (14 kills) rounded out the double-digit kill getters for the home side, while sophomore Kathleen Philo (23 assists) and classmate Shannon Dwyer (25 assists) drove a Holy Cross offense that finished the day with a .131 hitting percentage.
Alina Lam posted a double-double performance for the Mountain Hawks (14-2, 3-1) with 45 assists and 17 digs, while Sabrina Lancaster paced the offense with 15 kills. Hannah Wright (11 kills) and Lauren Bright (11) also recorded double-digit kills for the visitors, while Emily Poole put up 10 blocks (2 solo).
Saturday’s battle was one of the most evenly matched contests of the season and featured 39 ties and 14 lead changes over the five stanzas.
SET 1 (Holy Cross 27, Lehigh 25)
- The opening frame featured 13 ties and seven different lead changes.
- The Crusaders took an early 9-6 lead behind strong serving from Wright (2 aces).
- Back-to-back aces from Wright tied the set at 20-20. The teams traded points from there, with knotted scores at 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24 and 25-25 before Kerins (5 kills) finished off the win with consecutive aces.
- Holy Cross registered four team blocks, led by two apiece from Allie Barry, Clare Honan and Kerins.
SET 2 (Lehigh 25, Holy Cross 23)
- The second set saw seven different ties, but just one lead change.
- Kerins posted a solo block – one of just two Crusader stuffs in the stanza – to cut Holy Cross’ deficit to 20-19, prompting Lehigh to take its first timeout of the frame.
- Holy Cross came back to tie the score at 20-20 and again at 22-22, but Lehigh would take three of the next four points to tie the match at 1-1.
- Harding led the offense with five kills and a .364 attack percentage. Both sides hit .205 as a team.
SET 3 (Holy Cross 25, Lehigh 19)
- Holy Cross trailed, 7-5, before overcoming the deficit to take a 12-9 lead behind three kills from Harding and an ace from Philo.
- After a 12-12 deadlock, the teams would tie each of the next five points. But three-straight scores from the home side would break a 17-17 deadlock and give Holy Cross a lead it wouldn’t relinquish en route to a 25-19 win.
- Wright posted six kills with a .357 attack percentage, while Harding added five more with just a single error (.571).
SET 4 (Lehigh 27, Holy Cross 25)
- Wright again registered back-to-back aces, this time to cut into an early deficit (8-6).
- The Crusaders battled back from down five to tie the set at 18-18 and would continue to fight despite falling behind. The hosts tied the frame at 21-21 and 23-23, and took their first lead of the set at 24-23. But Lehigh wouldn’t relent, capping off the eventual 27-25 win with an ace from Emily Develle.
- Shamley posted a set-best six kills (.750) while Daval-Santos registered 10 digs in the frame.
SET 5 (Lehigh 15, Holy Cross 8)
- Lehigh played tough at the net in the deciding frame, getting three of its first six points off the block to take a 6-2 edge.
- The Mountain Hawks did not let up, taking a 9-4 lead before forcing the Crusaders to take their final timeout.
- The visitors would finish the frame hitting at a .188 clip to Holy Cross’ -.278 mark.
- The Crusaders are back on the road for their next four matchups, starting with a Friday night meeting with American in Washington, D.C. (7 p.m.).