HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team picked up a 3-2 win over inter-Triad rival Elon its home opener on Tuesday night in the Millis Center. Junior Chelsea Davis had a double-double with 19 kills and 20 digs and sophomore Annemarie Chin had a career-best 34 digs for the Panthers in the win.
“We showed a lot of resiliency tonight,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “It took a lot of character to pull out the win. Elon is a team going through some ups and downs right now but so are we. I was really pleased with the way we started the match. We set the standard for how well we can play in the second set and that is what we need to aspire to on every play.”
Davis added five blocks to her double-double to lead the Panthers. Junior Kristin Heldt also posted a double-double with 14 kills and a career-high 12 digs.
Megan Gravely led the Phoenix with 11 kills and Danielle Smith added 10 kills and six digs. Ana Nicksic recorded a double-double with 34 assists and 21 digs.
Elon led for much of the first set, opening up a six-point lead 19-13 after an HPU attack error. The Panthers slowly cut in to the lead, tying the match 19-19 when Heldt put down a kill off the Elon block. On the next play freshman Savannah Angel and junior Chelsea Blanford went up to block an attack by Gravley to give the Panthers their first lead of the set. The Phoenix got within one point of HPU’s lead, 23-22, on a Panther attack error to force a High Point timeout. After the break, Elon made back-to-back attack errors to win the set for HPU, 25-23.
High Point dominated the second set, outhitting Elon .323 to -.100 enroute to a 25-11 victory. Davis had six of HPU’s 13 kills in the frame while Elon had six kills total. Davis had three kills in the final four points of the set.
In the third set, Elon capitalized on a slow start by the Panthers. The Phoenix jumped out to a 17-9 lead and held off a late push by the Panthers. Heldt put down a kill to side out for the Panthers, down 23-13. HPU went on a four-point run with Molly Hirrlinger at the service line but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 25-18.
Elon carried the momentum in to the fourth set, pulling out a 25-21 win. A five-point run by the Phoenix to make the score 13-9 in the middle of the set proved to be the difference as HPU and Elon went point-for-point the rest of the way.
The Panthers clung to a slim 4-3 lead in the fifth set when Davis and junior Katie Vincent went up to block Danielle Smith on back-to-back plays. The defensive plays gave HPU the push to win the final set 15-10 and the match 3-2.
The win improved High Point to 3-4 on the season and Elon drops to 2-6 with the loss.
Senior Maddie Simpson also had double-double in the game with 44 assists and 10 digs. Vincent finished the game with six kills and eight blocks, including two solo blocks.
The Panthers hit the road again this weekend for the Georgia Southern Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. HPU will face North Dakota State, Georgia Southern and Oral Roberts this weekend.