STATESBORO, Ga. – The High Point University volleyball team fell to host Georgia Southern at the Georgia Southern Invitational on Friday night in Statesboro, Ga. HPU lost to the Eagles 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-20) to drop to 1-1 in the tournament.
“This was a very good learning experience for us tonight,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “Our energy was really good and we came in prepared to play. Georgia Southern is a very good team and the atmosphere they had going with the band and crowd gave them a big boost. When you are in that environment you have to be steady and pay attention to details. We made strides in that regard tonight and I am looking forward to seeing us play that way tomorrow.”
Junior Kristin Heldt had a team-high seven kills on the night while sophomore Annemarie Chinn led High Point with 14 digs. Senior Maddie Simpson led the Panthers with 18 assists and junior Katie Vincent finished with a team-best four blocks.
Jamie DeRatt had a double-double for the Eagles with a team-high 13 kills and 10 digs and Katalin Minnerly finished with 31 assists for GSU in the win.
High Point falls to 4-5 on the season with the loss while Georgia Southern improved to 7-2.
The first set featured 18 ties as the two teams battled to 23-all before Georgia Southern scored the final two points to claim the set, 25-23. Heldt and junior Chelsea Davis each had three kills in the set and Chinn finished with seven digs to lead High Point. Despite dropping the set, High Point outhit Georgia Southern .189 to .103.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the second set, forcing High Point to call an early timeout. Down 16-12, the Panthers battled back with a 5-1 burst to tie score at 17-17. Georgia Southern then responded with five-straight points to open a 22-17 lead and went on to win, 25-20. Davis finished the set with three kills to pace the Panthers. HPU hit .000 in the set, finishing with seven kills and seven errors.
The two teams traded points to open the third set and were tied at 10-10 before GSU went on an 8-1 run to open up an 18-11 lead. Down 22-15, High Point scored five of the next six points to close to within three before Georgia Southern scored the final two points to close out the match. Heldt had four kills in the set while Chinn and freshman Crystal Widom finished with four digs apiece.
Davis finished the match with six kills and 12 digs while Widon added five kills and a team-high two service aces. Redshirt-freshman Savannah Angel had five kills on the night and a .300 attack percentage.
High Point wraps up the Georgia Southern Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14, against Oral Roberts at 10 a.m.