HPU Volleyball Rallies Past UNC Greensboro For 3-1 Road Win

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team rallied from an early deficit to beat UNC Greensboro 3-1 on Wednesday at Fleming Gymnasium in Greensboro, N.C. The Panthers got double-digit kills from Chelsea Davis, Chelsea Blanford and Katie Vincent in the win.

“This is the type of complete team effort we have been working toward for the last three weeks,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “I am excited to see the team get it done on the road. Chelsea Blanford stepped up and had a huge match and I am so proud of her.”

Davis led all attackers with 18 kills, adding nine digs and two aces. Blanford set a career high with 15 kills and tied her career high of six digs. She also had three aces in the match. Vincent hit .474 with 10 kills and six blocks for HPU. Sophomore Annemarie Chin came up with a match-high 24 digs. She has had 20 or more digs in the last three matches for the Panthers.

Sydney Darden led UNC Greensboro with 12 kills and Emily McMurtrey dished out 24 assists. Katherine Santiago led the Spartans with 18 digs.

High Point improves to 6-9 with the win while UNC Greensboro drops to 7-6.

High Point led briefly in the first set, 5-4, on a Spartan attack error. UNC Greensboro went on a run to open up a four-point lead, 10-6, that they maintained for most of the frame. HPU cut the lead to 17-20 on a ball handling error by Spartans setter, McMurtrey. The Panthers got kills from Maddie Simpson, Blanford and Savannah Angel to tie the frame 20-20. Vincent kept the Panthers within one, 24-23, with a kill. Morgan Freeman ended the set with her first kill of the night to give UNCG a 25-23 win.

Just like the first set, the second set was tied 20-20 on a kill by Davis. The Spartans called timeout and took the lead out of the break on a tip by Kelsey Sidney that found the floor. Julia Westerbur served the next ball in to the net to once again tie the set, 21-21. The Panthers took the lead, 22-21 when McMurtrey was called for being in the net. Blanford served an ace to give the Panthers a two-point lead and Davis won the set for HPU, 25-22, with her ninth kill of the night.

Blanford set the tone for HPU early in the third set. She had three kills in HPU’s first 10 points to help the Panthers to a 10-5 lead. She went back to the service line and put an ace down in front of UNC Greensboro’s libero, Santiago, to extend High Point’s lead to 12-5. The Panthers maintained the lead for the remainder of the set, winning the frame 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The fourth set was close and chaotic as both teams scrambled for every point. HPU’s biggest lead of the frame was just five points, 20-15, after an ace by Blanford. The Spartans kept it close, getting back within one point, 22-21, on an HPU attack error. Davis got a kill off the UNCG block to side out for the Panthers but Chambers answered back with a kill to make it a 23-22 advantage for HPU. Davis got another kill off the block to bring up match point. She went back to the service line and served an ace off the tape to win the match 25-22.

Angel finished the match with eight kills and Simpson led all players with 26 assists. Freshman Val Jeffery also posted 18 assists. Freshman Megan Kennedy tallied a career-high 12 digs for High Point.

High Point opens Big South Conference play on Friday with a 7 p.m. match against Campbell. The Camels are 9-7 after a win over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday.