ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In a thrilling encounter at the Wesley A. Brown Field House, the Navy volleyball team showcased resilience and skill, clinching victory against Lehigh in four sets on Thursday night. The Mids (16-8, 8-7) overcame the Mountain Hawks (13-14, 5-11) with a hard-fought scoreline of 30-28, 25-22, 21-25, 25-16.
The standout performance came from libero Hannah Hoover, whose 29 digs played a pivotal role in Navy’s defensive strategy. Head coach Paco Labrador commended the team’s ability to handle the challenging serves from Lehigh, emphasizing Hoover’s leadership in defensive preparation throughout the week.
Set One: Navy’s Resilience Shines
The first set saw Navy taking early leads, only to face a resilient Lehigh comeback. Tied at 24-24, Navy secured the set with a 30-28 win, showcasing their ability to respond to pressure situations.
Set Two: Navy’s 4-0 Spurt Secures Lead
A closely contested second set saw Navy establish an 18-14 lead. Despite a Lehigh comeback, Navy’s 4-0 run secured a 25-22 victory, with Jordan Llewellyn delivering the final blows.
Set Three: Lehigh Forces Fourth Set
Lehigh dominated the third set, never trailing and securing a 25-21 victory. The Mountain Hawks’ strong performance forced a fourth set as they aimed to secure a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
Set Four: Navy Seals the Victory
In a set that lasted 130 minutes, Navy took control early and never trailed. With a commanding lead of 22-13, Navy closed out the match with a convincing 25-16 victory.
Navy’s offensive prowess was evident as they posted 62 kills with a .207 hitting percentage, while limiting Lehigh to 53 kills and a .186 hitting effort. The Mids’ strategic shot selection in the fourth set proved crucial.
The defensive standout, Hoover, set a career-high with 29 digs, tying her for third place in school history for digs in a four-set match. Jordan Llewellyn led the offense with 22 kills, 15 digs, and three blocks.
Senior Night Honors
The match was not only a triumph on the court but also a poignant Senior Night celebration. Seniors Anna Klemeyer, Maggie Bodman, Ashley Warren, Averi Miller, and the Llewellyn twins were honored for their contributions to the program.
Labrador expressed his appreciation, stating, “These seniors have been the backbone of the program for quite a while. It is wonderful to see them play hard, play together, and represent themselves, the program, and the Naval Academy.”
Navy’s victory solidifies their position in the league and sets the stage for continued success as they approach the postseason.