Box Score: Army 3, Lehigh 2
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Sophomore OH Ariana Mankus recorded 17 kills and 22 digs, and senior S Karyn Powell had 47 assists as Army outlasted Lehigh in the final two sets (25-21 and 19-17) in rallying from a 2-1 deficit to pull out a hard fought 3-2 Patriot League volleyball decision Saturday at Leeman-Turner Arena. The Black Knights moved to 15-10 overall and 8-1 in the league following their fifth straight conference win.
Army won the opener, 25-23, but Lehigh took the next two by 25-15 and 25-22 scores, respectively, to pull ahead 2-1. Army tied the game 2-2 following a 25-21 edging in the fourth set to force what would be a marathon final fifth set, which the Black Knights won 19-17 to send Lehigh below the .500 mark, overall (10-11) and in league play (4-5).
Senior MB Amanda Rowell and freshman MB Megan Wilton had 13 and 11 kills, respectively, along with 10 from rookie RS Margaux Jarka. Senior L Brittany Jensen anchored the Army defense with 22 digs, while Wilton contributed to a team-high four total blocks.
In a match that took nearly two and a half hours to complete, the teams played through 39 ties and 15 lead changes. The fifth and deciding set featured 11 ties alone and was back-and-forth from start to finish. Army took a 6-8 lead on a Lehigh service error as the teams changed sides midway through the action. The Mountain Hawks proceeded to score the next four points unanswered and take a 10-8 lead on a kill from Angelika Kopacz. The Black Knights rallied again, however, with a 5-2 run capped by a Wilton kill to take a 13-12 advantage.The teams played through five ties as neither was able to capitalize at match point. Lehigh took a 17-16 lead, but Army got back-to-back kills from sophomore RS Francine Vasquez and Rowell that put the Black Knights up 18-17 with Mankus on the line to serve for the match. Lehigh's run came to an end as a bad set from Jessica Kudirka.
Kopacz, Taylor Poole and Courtney McCutchan led the Mountain Hawks with 14 kills apiece.
The Black Knights, opening a four-game road slate this weekend, visits Sacred Heart on Friday, Oct. 29, in closing out the non-league conference portion of their schedule prior to returning to league play the following day for a 5 p.m. match at Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.