HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team earned its second-straight Big South sweep with a 3-0 win over Winthrop (25-10, 25-21, 25-23) on Friday night at the Millis Center. Juniors Kristin Heldt and Chelsea Davis led a balanced HPU attack with 11 kills each.
“Tonight’s win was the direct result of a great week of practice,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “The team did a great job all week of focusing and preparing for this match and the result was some of our best volleyball of the season. Maddie Simpson did a great job of getting all our attackers involved and keeping Winthrop off balance and out of system. We created a lot of one-on-one chances and it allowed everyone to be successful.”
Six played recorded a kill for High Point in the three-set win over the Eagles. Junior Katie Vincent and freshman Megan Kennedy each had five kills on the night.
Redshirt-freshman Savannah Angel finished with eight kills and completed her second-straight game without an attack error. Angel led the team with seven blocks, a new career high. Davis finished with a team-high nine digs while senior Maddie Simpson dished out 33 assists in the win.
Rachel Lenz finished the night with a team-high eight kills and four blocks to pace the Eagles. Annika Rigternik added five kills and four blocks.
High Point improves to 10-11 overall and 4-2 in the Big South with the win. Winthrop falls to 11-9 overall and 2-4 in conference action.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 11-2 lead in set one forcing a timeout by Winthrop. Angel played well early with four kills and two blocks during the HPU run.
High Point built its lead out to 17-5 before a three-point surge by the Eagles cut the advantage back to nine. Two-quick kills by Davis and Heldt pushed the HPU lead back to double digits as the Panthers closed set one on a 8-2 run to win, 25-10.
Angel finished with four kills and three blocks in the opening frame. HPU outhit Winthrop .423 to -.167 in the first set and posted 16 kills. The High Point defense had 16 digs and nine blocks in the set.
Neither team took control at the outset of set two as the two squads traded points and remained tied at 13-13 midway through the set. A kill by Kennedy broke the stalemate and started a run of three-straight points for HPU.
Winthrop closed to within one, 22-21, late in the set, forcing a High Point timeout. The Panthers settled down out of the timeout, scoring the final three points of the set on kills by Davis and Heldt and a WU attack error to win, 25-21.
High Point led 7-3 early in set three before a service error by Davis opened the door to a 5-1 run by the Eagles, knotting the score at 8-8.
The two teams traded the lead with neither team going ahead by more than two until a 5-1 run by the Panthers put High Point up 18-14 and forced a Winthrop timeout. Davis led the HPU surge with three kills.
High Point would not relinquish its lead the rest of the way, going on to win the set, 25-23, to complete the sweep.
The Panthers return to the Millis Center on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m., to take on Presbyterian College in Big South action. The contest is HPU’s annual Pink Game to support breast cancer awareness.