HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Molly Barlow tallied her 1,000th career dig in the High Point University volleyball team’s sweep of UNC Asheville on Friday at the the Millis Center. HPU had four players with double-digit digs led by Barlow and freshman Annemarie Chin with 13.
Barlow became the eighth player in HPU’s Div. I era to record 1,000 career digs. She entered the game nine shy of the milestone and reached the mark in the third set.
“We had a lot of people do a lot of things really well in our system tonight,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “You can look at stats and see who put up a lot of kills. But we had a lot of the little organized plays tonight and put a lot of pressure on UNC Asheville. Wavie Chin had a great match at right back with a ton of great digs and that doesn’t always show up in the box score.
“Molly Barlow has been an unbelievable player for us. I put a ton of pressure on her to lead this team and she has taken that role on and been successful. It makes me really happy to see her add her name to the record book.”
HPU swept UNC Asheville 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-20) to improve to 17-8 overall and 6-3 in the Big South. The Bulldogs drop to 8-17 overall and 4-5 in league play.
Seniors Courtney Johnk and Jamie McDonald and sophomore Kristin Heldt led the team with 11 kills each. McDonald hit .556 with two blocks. Redshirt-sophomore Maddie Simpson posted a double-double with 38 assists and 11 digs.
High Point saw an 18-12 lead in the first set disappear after an 8-2 run for UNC Asheville tied the game at 20-20. After trading the next several points, the Panthers capitalized on an Asheville service error to take a 23-22 lead that they would not give up, winning the first set 25-22. Two kills by McDonald gave HPU the final points of the set.
The Panthers controlled the second set with defensive pressure holding UNCA to a negative hitting percentage, -.028. High Point won the set by 11 points, 25-14. The Panthers out-dug the Bulldogs 23-14 due in part to the stellar defensive play by Annemarie Chin who finished the set with six digs. High Point took a 22-9 lead with an 11-point run. Eight of HPU’s 11 points were Panther kills.
High Point trailed UNC Asheville from the start of the third set until the Panthers took the lead, 20-19, on an Annemarie Chin service ace. HPU never looked back, closing out the set and the match with five straight points. McDonald’s late-match kills came up huge for the Panthers as she claimed three of the final six points. High Point took the third and final set 25-20 to beat the Bulldogs.
Sophomore Chelsea Davis finished the night with nine kills and 11 digs and freshman Wavie Chin had six digs. Sophomore Caity Farus had four kills and three blocks, one solo.
The Panthers will return to the Millis Center Saturday at 4 p.m. to face the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb. GWU is 8-17 overall and 3-5 in Big South play entering the weekend. The Bulldogs face Campbell on Friday.