STATESBORO, Ga. – The High Point University volleyball team dropped a tight four-set battle to Oral Roberts on Saturday at the Georgia Southern Volleyball Tournament. Three of the sets were decided by two points as the Golden Eagles edged HPU 3-1 (28-30, 24-26, 25-23, 21-25).
“This was a really tough, hard-fought match,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “Our team is really starting to understand our system and identity. Oral Roberts has a a great record and it shows what a solid team they are. We still have work to do but facing teams like ORU will make us better. I am excited about the way we are playing and the hard work the team continues to put in every day.”
Junior Kristin Heldt led the Panthers with 21 kills and nine digs while sophomore Annemarie Chin tallied a match-high 32 digs. Junior Chelsea Davis also posted 15 kills and eight digs.
McKenna Quails led ORU with 16 kills and 18 digs and Luara Rosa added 13 kills.
With the loss HPU is 4-6 on the season while Oral Roberts improves to 8-1.
Oral Roberts edged HPU, 30-28, in a close first set. The Panthers had set point, 25-24, but Rosa kept ORU alive with a kill to tie the score. The match went back and forth to a tie 28-28 on a kill by Heldt. HPU helped the Golden Eagles with a service error to bring up set point. Sara Pope won the set with a kill to take the first frame for Oral Roberts.
ORU squeaked past HPU again in the second set, 26-24. Heldt had a kill to give the Panthers a two-point lead, 20-18, late in the frame. The Golden Eagles used a three-point swing to take the lead, 21-20, on a kill by Pope. The frame was tied four more ties, finally at 24-24. Oral Roberts got a kill and an HPU attack error to score the final two points of the frame and win the set.
High Point held off the sweep with a 25-23 win in the third set. The Panthers opened up a seven-point lead 20-13 in the frame but the Golden Eagles made it close, coming within two, 24-22 at the end. Davis won the set for HPU with 12th kill of the day.
Oral Roberts completed the win with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set. Jovana Paljasevic broke a 13-13 tie with a kill and ORU led the rest of the frame.
Junior Katie Vincent finished the match with nine kills and senior Maddie Simpson dished out 48 assists.
The Panthers return to the Millis Center on Tuesday to face VCU at 7 p.m. It marks the beginning of a four-game home stand for High Point.