WILMINGTON, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team opened the 2012 season with a loss to UNC Wilmington at the UNCW Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash on Friday night in Hanover Gym. Senior Courtney Johnk led the team with 12 kills and sophomore Chelsea Davis came up with 10 digs in the 3-0 (23-25, 17-25, 16-25) loss.
“UNC Wilmington came out on fire and got support from a great home crowd,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “We couldn’t find the answers tonight but it is one match and it doesn’t define the season. We will come out tomorrow with new resolve and find a way to win
Johnk finished the match with 12 kills and three blocks for the Panthers. Davis had eight kills and two blocks to go along with her team-high 10 digs. Sophomore Caity Farus put up six blocks and freshman Annemarie Chin added eight digs.
Davis had a service ace to give HPU an 18-17 lead in the first set. Christi Laite answered with a kill to tie the set and an attack error by the Panthers gave UNC Wilmington its first lead of the match. The Seahawks held the lead and jumped out to a 24-20 advantage. The Panthers fought off three set points with a kill from Davis and a block by Johnk and Farus to make it a 24-23 game. Laite put down her seventh kill of the frame to secure the 25-23 win for the Seahawks.
In the second set HPU took another early lead, 4-1, before UNC Wilmington rallied back to tie it up at 5-5. Jennifer Mallard gave UNCW the lead with a kill and the Seahawks led the rest of the set on the way to a 25-17 win.
The Seahawks maintained momentum in the third set and held off the Panthers for a 25-16 win. Laite led UNCW with 12 kills and 10 digs and Morgan Kline chipped in 10 kills.
High Point will continue the tournament on Saturday morning with a 10:30 a.m. match against Long Island University