HPU Women’s Volleyball Rallies To Beat LIU For First Win Of The Season

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Senior Molly Barlow had a career-high 29 digs and senior Courtney Johnk posted 17 kills to lead the High Point University volleyball team to a 3-2 win over Long Island – Brooklyn on Saturday in Wimington, N.C. The Panthers rallied for their first win of the season after dropping the first set to the Blackbirds.

The fifth set was tied eight different times, with the final tie coming at 12-12. The Panthers scored the final five points of the match to pull out the 3-2 (16-25, 25-21, 17-25, 25-14, 15-12) win at the UNC Courtyard Wilmington Beach Bash.

Johnk had a double-double, tallying 11 digs to go along with her match-high 17 kills. She also chipped in five aces and two blocks. Barlow had six of her career-high 29 digs in the final set. Sophomore Chelsea Davis hit .238 with 16 kills and redshirt-sophomore Maddie Simpson had a double-double with 45 assists and 17 digs.

“LIU is a very good team that should finish in the top two in the NEC,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “They have a lot of savvy players and it says a lot about our team that we responded to them all match. Courtney was our rock again today, Chelsea Davis was good in the clutch situations and Molly Barlow showed the emotion and mental toughness we expect from her. I am extremely pleased with this win.”

After dropping the first set, the Panthers tied the match with a 25-21 win in the second. Johnk had five kills while Davis and Michelle Chakirelis added four each. HPU led the entire frame and outhit the Blackbirds .270 to .190 for the set.

LIU answered with a 25-17 win in the third set. Davis posted six kills in the frame but the Blackbirds were able to limit the rest of HPU’s attackers.

High Point rolled through the fourth set with a 25-14 win to force a fifth and final frame. Simpson spread the ball around with four different attackers posting at least two kills in the final set. Chakirelis put down a kill to tie the fifth set at 12-12 and force an LIU timeout. After the break Davis and Johnk had back-to-back kills to bring up match point and another LIU timeout. The Panthers weren’t phased by the break and Davis’ final kill of the match was the game-winner.

Chakirelis finished the match with eight kills and three blocks and Caity Farus added seven kills and six blocks. Annemarie Chin recorded 12 digs.

High Point wraps up the tournament at 5 p.m. with a match against Delaware State. The Panthers host Wake Forest on Tuesday for the home opener at the Millis Center at 7 p.m.