ELON, N.C. – Senior Courtney Johnk hit .708 with 18 kills to lead the High Point University volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Elon on Tuesday at Alumni Gym in Elon, N.C. Johnk was one of three Panthers with double-digit kills in the victory.
“We started off a little rocky but we were able to come back and play at a high level in the final three sets,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “I have said it all season but it was true again tonight, Courtney is our rock. She played a great match and Elon simply didn’t have an answer for her.”
The Panthers overcame a slow start to win the final three sets and take the match 3-1 (18-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-12). High Point made nine attack errors and two service errors in the first set but minimized mistakes for the rest of the match to beat the Phoenix. High Point improves to 8-4 while Elon drops to 5-7.
Johnk finished the night four digs and three blocks to go with her match-high 18 kills. Sophomore Kristin Heldt tallied 11 kills and sophomore Chelsea Davis had 10 kills and six digs. Redshirt-sophomore Maddie Simpson posted a double-double with 38 assists and 13 digs. Freshman Annemarie Chin led the match with 21 digs.
The Phoenix used an early six-point run to turn a 6-3 High Point lead in to a 9-6 Elon advantage. The Panthers came back to tie the set 15-15 on a kill by Davis. Johnk served the ball tough at the Phoenix and Ali Deatsch’s dig went over the net and Davis set it down for a kill. It was as close as HPU would get in the first frame as Johnk’s next serve was long and Elon maintained the lead for the remainder of the set on the way to a 25-18 win.
High Point changed the momentum of the match early in the second set, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Davis was responsible for the first two points with a kill and a solo block. Senior Jamie McDonald served an ace and HPU forced an Elon attack error to finish the run. High Point maintained the lead for the rest of the set. The biggest lead was eight points, 21-13, on Davis service ace. The Panthers won the frame 25-17.
HPU outhit Elon .480 to .154 on the way to a 25-15 win in the third set. Heldt, Michelle Chakirelis and Davis had three kills each while Johnk and McDonald added two each. The Panthers also fortified their defense putting up four blocks and coming up with 11 digs.
In the fourth set the Panthers forced Elon to hit -.097 and won the frame 25-12. Johnk put down seven kills on 10 swings in the final set.
The Panthers continue a stretch of six-straight road games this weekend with three games at the Wildcat Classic hosted by Davidson. On Friday, HPU will face Davidson at 7 p.m. The Panthers will face Green Bay and N.C. Central on Saturday.