HPU Women’s Volleyball – Panthers Top Gardner-Webb in Big South Contest

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team stretched its win streak to four games with a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday at the Millis Center. Freshman Annemarie Chin posted a match-high 20 digs.

“We were resilient tonight,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “Gardner-Webb came out with a ton of energy. We were very methodical in the first set and methodical doesn’t necessarily beat energy. I challenged the team to play with more passion in the second set and they found a way to compete and win the match.”

High Point dropped the first set 23-25 but came back to win the final three sets, 25-22, 25-23 and 25-20. The Panthers improve to 18-8 overall and 7-3 in Big South games. Gardner-Webb dropped to 9-18 overall and 4-6 in league play.

Senior Courtney Johnk led the team with 14 kills and tied her career high with five service aces. Sophomore Chelsea Davis added 12 kills and sophomore Kristin Heldt recorded 10 kills and two blocks.

Erin Anderson led the match with 21 kills for Gardner-Webb and Tyler Cockrell hit .400 with 14 kills.

Gardner-Webb edged HPU 25-23 in the first set. Anderson paced the Bulldogs with seven kills on 14 swings. Heldt put down a kill to tie the frame 16-16. GWU answered with a four-point run to take a 20-16 lead. HPU came within one point, 23-24, on a kill by senior Jamie McDonald but Gardner-Webb won the set with a kill by Emily Holte.

Both teams hit over .400 in the second set with HPU holding the slight advantage, .484 to .429. The Panthers won the set 25-22 with a late comeback. Gardner-Webb led in the early stages of set two with HPU taking its first lead at 16-15 on an ace by Johnk. Gardner-Webb fought back to tie the set 19-19 but a Bulldog service error gave HPU back the lead for good, 20-19. Heldt, Johnk and Davis all put down kills in the final points to secure the 25-22 win.

The Panthers held off a late Gardner-Webb run to win set three 25-23. High Point held a 24-21 lead on a kill by Johnk. Anderson answered with a kill for the Runnin’ Bulldogs and an HPU attack error cut the lead to 24-23. Anderson went back to the service line for GWU and sent the ball out of bounds to win the set for High Point, 25-23.

High Point closed out the win with a 25-20 victory in the fourth set. The Panthers finished the set with a 5-1 run. Heldt had a kill to break the 19-19 tie. The teams traded attack errors to put High Point’s lead at 21-10. Johnk and Davis put down kills and senior Molly Barlow served an ace to bring up match point. A GWU attack error won the match for High Point .

Next weekend HPU will host first-place Liberty on Friday. First serve is set for 7 p.m. The Flames topped HPU at the Vines Center, 3-0, on Oct. 6.