HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team remains unbeaten in five-set matches with a 3-2 win over George Mason on Friday at the Millis Center. Sophomore Chelsea Davis tallied a career-high 22 kills and freshman Annemarie Chin came up with 22 digs to help HPU overcome a slow start and beat the Patriots in the High Point University Classic.
“You have to give credit to George Mason,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “They served the right spots and played great defense. The mark of a great team is finding a way to win when you aren’t at your best. This team was out of sorts but showed heart and determination and pulled out the win. I was very pleased with the mental effort of our team to stay focused and grind out the win.”
HPU trailed 2-1 after the first three sets but came back to win the final two and take the match 3-2 (16-25, 27-25, 19-25, 25-17, 15-10). The Panthers improve to 5-0 in five-set matches and 6-3 for the season. HPU is 2-0 in the Millis Center.
Davis set a career high in kills for the second straight match with 22 kills. The outside hitter recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 13 digs. Annemarie Chin had a match-high 22 digs, a career high for the rookie libero.
Sophomore Kristin Heldt bounced back from a slow start to put down four kills in the fifth set, including the final point of the night and help HPU win the frame 15-10.
Seven of Davis’ 22 kills came in the fourth set, a 25-17 win for the Panthers. She hit .417 in the frame while Heldt and junior Michelle Chakirelis recorded four kills each. George Mason fought off one set point and dished the ball to Lana Zonjic on the left side hoping to fight off another. Maddie Simpson and Jamie McDonald blocked the attack and won the frame for HPU which forced a fifth set.
In the first set HPU saw an early 9-6 lead get erased by a 5-0 Patriots run. George Mason took the lead 11-9 and held it for the rest of the frame. GMU outhit High Point .206 to -.029 and limited the Panthers to seven kills. Courtney Johnk had three kills for HPU.
The Panthers pulled off a late comeback to win the second set to even the match 1-1. George Mason led 24-23 but a ball handling error by the Patriots’ setter kept HPU alive. Simpson served an ace to bring up match point, 25-24. Lolade Owokoniran put down a kill for GMU to tie the score at 25-25. Caity Farus solo blocked an attack by Danielle Cook and HPU won the set 27-25 on a kill by Davis. Davis had eight kills in the second set.
High Point was unable to find any offensive rhythm in the third set, falling to George Mason 25-19. The Panthers hit .074 in the frame with 12 kills. Annemarie Chin had seven digs in the set.
Senior Molly Barlow had 17 digs and freshman Wavie Chin added 14 to provide HPU with a solid back row. Johnk totaled 12 kills and four aces in the win and Heldt finished the night with nine kills and four blocks.
The High Point University Classic continues on Saturday with an 11 a.m. match between HPU and Loyola Marymount. LMU lost the opener of the tournament to Virginia Tech in a five-set battle.