CLINTON, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team lost to Coastal Carolina 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 26-24) in the semifinals of the Big South Conference Tournament on Friday in Clinton, S.C. Junior Kristin Heldt hit .375 with 12 kills in the loss.
“Coastal Carolina came out today and played like a team that was disappointed with their performance in the tournament last year,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “They remembered the feeling of losing in the semifinals last year and were determined to not have that happen again. Give them all the credit, they played a great match and did a great job defending our best attackers. I am proud of the fight this team showed tonight and all season.”
High Point finishes the season with a 16-15 record, the fourth winning season in Oliver’s five seasons as head coach.
Heldt led the Panthers with 12 kills, five digs and two blocks. Junior Chelsea Davis added nine kills and three digs. Senior Maddie Simpson dished out 31 assists and sophomore Annemarie Chin tallied a match-high 10 digs.
The Chanticleers outhit High Point .440 to .143 in the opening set, winning the frame 25-12. High Point trailed 21-9 when Katie Vincent scored two points with a kill and a block for the Panthers. The Chanticleers finished the frame with a 5-1 run to win 25-12.
Attack errors continued to hurt the Panthers early in set two, allowing CCU to take a 9-2 lead. The Chanticleers maintained the lead for the entire frame, bringing up set point 24-15. HPU fought off set point three times, getting a kill and a block from Heldt to go with a bad set by Coastal Carolina’s Lauren Alejo to make it a 24-18 game. Lian Bernett buried the next ball to win the set 25-18 in favor of Coastal Carolina.
High Point led for much of the third set, holding a slim 21-19 advantage on a kill by Davis. A block by Annayka Legros tied the set 22-22 and the Chants took the lead, 24-23, on a kill by Bernett. Heldt had a kill to tie it up, 24-24, but Coastal Carolina finished the match with two straight kills from Gabriella Horvath to win 26-24.
Coastal Carolina advances to the title match where the Chanticleers will face Radford on Sunday at 2 p.m.