CONWAY, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team battled back from a two-set deficit to beat Coastal Carolina 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 18-16) on Friday at the HTC Center in Conway, S.C. The Panthers outlasted CCU in a marathon fifth set, 18-16, to complete the comeback. Junior Chelsea Davis had a match-high 29 kills for High Point.
“We were challenged by a very good Coastal Carolina squad tonight,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “I am so excited to see our upperclassmen step up when we needed them. Chelsea Davis, Kristin Heldt and Maddie Simpson needed to put the team on their shoulders and they did. When it came down to it, they made plays.”
Davis recorded a double-double with a career-high 29 kills and 14 digs. Heldt finished the night with 16 kills and a career-high 20 digs. Simpson dished out 47 assists and sophomore Annemarie Chin tied her career high with 34 digs.
High Point moves to 7-10 with the win and evens its Big South record at 1-1. Coastal Carolina drops to 8-8 and 1-2 in the Big South.
Gabriella Horvath led Coastal Carolina with 19 kills and 14 digs while Lian Bernett added 15 kills and 16 digs. Lauren Alejo tallied 38 assists.
With their backs against the wall, trailing 14-11 in the fifth set, the Panthers fought back to beat Coastal Carolina 18-16. High Point fought off three straight set points and tied the set 14-14 on a kill by Davis. Davis and freshman Savannah Angel combined to block Horvath to bring up set point for High Point 15-14. The lead went back and forth with ties at 15-15 and 16-16. Heldt put down back-to-back kills for the final two points of the match to win for HPU, 18-16.
Coastal Carolina took a quick lead in the first set, 8-4, on a kill by Kindra Bailey. The Panthers climbed back in to the set, getting within one, 10-9, when Annemarie Chin sent a ball over the net and it found the floor in the back corner. The Chanticleers halted HPU’s run and went on an 11-5 run to open up a 22-14 lead. Simpson put up a solo block on Bailey to side out for HPU and the Panthers got back-to-back kills form Davis and Heldt to cut the lead to 22-17. Coastal Carolina called timeout and regrouped to win the set 25-19.
In the second set it was HPU that took an early lead, 10-9, when Katie Vincent served an ace at Horvath. Bernett had a kill to tie the set and the Chanticleers went on a 6-1 run, to lead the match 16-11. Coastal Carolina went on to win the second set 25-18.
The Panthers battled back in the match to win set three, 25-19. Vincent served an ace to give HPU a 22-19 lead late in the frame and force Coastal Carolina to call timeout. The break didn’t help the Chanticleers as HPU scored the final three points to win the set 25-19. Davis put up a solo block on Horvath and followed with a kill. Heldt finished the match with her 10th kill of the night.
High Point won a tight fourth set, 25-23, to force a fifth set. Two straight kills by Davis have the Panthers a 20-17 lead but Coastal rallied back to get within one, 22-21 and against 24-23. Miona Milovanovic served the ball in to the net to give HPU set four, 25-23.
Davis added two blocks and an assist to her totals for the night and Vincent led all players with six blocks. Simpson tallied three solo blocks to give her 34 for her career. The senior now ranks fifth on HPU’s career list.
High Point continues its weekend roadtrip on Saturday with a 6 p.m. match at Charleston Southern. The Buccaneers are 5-11 on the season and faced Campbell on Friday.