DURHAM, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team opened the 2014 season with a five-set win over Furman at the Duke Invitational at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C. Four Panthers posted double-digit kills and junior Wavie Chin had a career-high 25 digs.
The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match but the Paladins fought back to force a fifth set. High Point won the fifth set 15-11 to win the season-opener for the second-straight year.
“We knew, coming in to today, that Furman is a very good team,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “We were prepared for the match and we needed to be because Furman pushed us to compete at a very high level. They brought the best out of our team. We made adjustments throughout the match and different players stepped up at different times. I am happy for the team and now we have to prepare for Duke tonight.”
Senior Chelsea Davis led all players with 19 kills and senior Kristin Heldt added 15 kills, nine blocks and eight digs. Freshman Camryn Freiberg posted a double-double in her collegiate debut with 11 kills and 10 blocks and freshman Haley Barnes added 12 kills and two aces. Junior Wavie Chin made just her second-ever start as the libero and tallied a career-high 25 digs. Junior Gabi Mirand dished out 52 assists for the Panthers.
Ashton Gregory led Furman with 17 kills and Annie Bierman added 14 kills and 14 digs.
High Point won the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-21. In both frames the Paladins made a late push but the Panthers were able to hold on to the sets. In sets three and four Furman used early runs to take the lead and then held on as the Panthers battled back.
The fifth set was tied six times before High Point took an 11-10 lead on a kill by Davis. Freiberg and Heldt blocked an attack from Christen Sikora and Heldt put down a kill to push the lead to 13-10. Furman was able to side out but couldn’t put together a run and High Point went on to win 15-11.
High Point will face No. 21 Duke tonight at 7 p.m. The Blue Devils opened the tournament against North Florida at noon today.