Offense leads HPU Volleyball Panthers to 3-0 sweep of Terriers

Posted by Press Release on August 26, 2016 at 8:08 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

• Junior Haley Barnes opened the season in style with 11 kills, five digs and three aces.
• The Panthers offense clicked from the get-go hitting .481 in the first set and .386 on the night.
• The win gives first-year head coach Tom Mendoza his first career victory as the HPU head coach.

CLEMSON, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team rode a hot-hitting offense to a 3-0 victory over Wofford on Friday evening in the Big Orange Bash in Clemson, S.C.

“I really liked our approach to the game and the players have done a really great job of balancing their excitement with the focus it takes to be successful,” head coach Tom Mendoza said of his first head coaching win. “It’s still a work in progress, but for our first go-around we did a good job. The team’s mental approach really allowed us to respond to their runs or when we didn’t play points as well as we wanted to. But for our first match, we passed that test really well.”

Junior Haley Barnes paced the Panthers’ offense with 11 kills on an impressive .333 attack percentage. HPU showcased a balanced attack as senior Megan Kennedy and sophomores Katie Tylman and Molly Livingston added six kills apiece. Barnes and Livingston also contributed from the service line with three aces apiece.

Meanwhile, redshirt-senior Savannah Angel (five kills) and sophomore Jordan Hefner (four kills) gave the Panthers six players with at least four kills.

Defensively, the Purple & White held the Terriers to a .171 attack percentage while racking up 28 digs on the night. Junior Amy Pilat paced the squad with seven digs while Barnes and Kennedy each posted five.

HPU also registered four blocks with Hefner, Livingston and Tylman each earning two.

At the setter spot, junior Carly Jimenez and freshman Jenna Smith each posted 15 assists while combining for four digs in the win.

Hefner stuffed an overpass on the first point of the match before Barnes served up an ace to make it 2-0. HPU kept the pressure on as Livingston served the team to an 8-0 run to build a 15-5 lead. However, Wofford battled back to within three (16-13) before the Panthers held on for a 25-19 win.

Just like the first set, HPU grabbed a 3-0 advantage. This time, however, the Terriers quickly evened the score at 4-all. But an ace from Pilat sparked a 4-0 run to give HPU an 8-4 edge. Barnes took it from there adding five kills including the set-capper off an overpass as the Purple & White took the frame 25-17.

The Terries came out of the break and built their first lead of the night (5-3). But, the Panthers battled back to even the score before two kills apiece from Angel and Hefner sparked a 14-4 run (17-9). Wofford, however, refused to go away quietly and fought back to within four (20-16), but couldn’t get any closer as Barnes closed the match with back-to-back aces (25-17).

The Purple & White are back in action with two matches in the Big Orange Bash tomorrow. The squad opens with a 1:30 p.m. match against host Clemson before taking on William & Mary at 4:00 p.m.

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