HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore Kristin Heldt had a career-high 22 kills in the High Point University volleyball team’s five-set loss to Liberty on Friday at the Millis Center. Sophomore Chelsea Davis had a double-double with 22 digs and 16 kills in the loss.
The Panthers fought back from a 2-1 deficit to win set four but ultimately lost in five sets (25-23, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 10-15). High Point falls to 18-9 overall and 7-4 in league games. Liberty improves to 19-7 on the season with a 9-2 record in Big South action.
“I am proud of the effort we put forth today,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “But you have to give it to Liberty, when it mattered they made big plays. This was a great learning experience, especially for some of our younger players who were forced in to the starting lineup. We have a chance to build on some of the positive moments from this game as we prepare for the final stretch of the season.”
Heldt hit .347 with a career-high 22 kills. She also had six digs. Davis added two blocks and a service ace to her 22 digs and 16 kills. Freshman Annemarie Chin came up with 21 digs and senior Molly Barlow added 14.
High Point opened up a three-point, 22-19, lead in the first set but the Flames answered with two straight points to close the gap to 22-21. Heldt had kills to keep High Point ahead, 23-21 and 24-22. With the set on the line Jade Craycraft took the attack for the Flames and sent the ball just out of bounds down the right line for a 25-23 High Point win.
Liberty evened the match with a 25-21 win in set two. The Flames outhit HPU .324 to .212 in the frame led by Caroline Douglas with five kills. Liberty stretched its lead from 18-16 to 21-16 with the help of two HPU errors. Douglas sealed the win for the Flames with the final two kills of the set.
The third set was tied 15-15 when Loren Thomas put down a kill for the Flames to give them the lead. LU pushed the lead to 19-15 on two blocks by Thomas and Douglas. The slight cushion was all Liberty needed as they went on to win the set 25-20. Heldt led HPU with four kills in the frame.
Michelle Chakirelis solo blocked Kendle Rollins to give HPU a 25-23 win in the fourth set. The frame was tied 22-22 when High Point took the lead on a bad set by Craycraft. An HPU service error tied the set back up, 23-23. Heldt brought up set point with a kill off the arm of Lillie Happel and Chakirelis won the set with the block.
Liberty won set five 15-10 with .364 attack percentage. Douglas and Happel had four kills each for the Flames.
Sophomore Chelsea Blanford had nine kils and sophomore Caity Farus added eight kills and five blocks in the loss.
High Point will host Radford on Saturday in the final home game of the 2012 season. The match will begin at 4 p.m. Seniors Molly Barlow, Brittany Durham, Lauren Bell, Courtney Johnk, Jamie McDonald and Stephanie Kaminsas will be honored before the match.