• The victory was HPU’s fourth in the past five matches
• Freshman Haley Barnes led HPU with 14 kills and 10 digs
• The Panthers wrap up the regular season Saturday (2 p.m.) at Coastal Carolina
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team surged to its fourth win in the last five matches Friday evening during a 3-1 dispatching of Charleston Southern inside the Buc Dome.
HPU dropped the first set before rallying to capture the next three. The win was critical for HPU’s seeding in next weekend’s Big South Tournament. The victory improves the Panthers to 12-14 (6-7 Big South) while the Bucs fall to 11-22 (1-13). The win was HPU’s sixth-straight over Charleston Southern.
“This was a great team effort,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “We didn’t have our A-Game but we showed a lot of grit and determination which is what good teams have. Good teams find ways to win and we were able to play a lot of people on our team tonight. They stepped up and made good plays. I’m pleased with the effort. It keeps us on track heading into the conference tournament. We’re excited to get to Coastal tomorrow.”
HPU held a 57-45 edge in kills for the match and also posted advantages in assists (50-41), digs (70-65) and blocks (11.0-10.0). The Panthers hit .176 in the match and limited the Bucs to just a .108 clip.
Freshman Haley Barnes led the Panthers with her fourth double-double in the last six matches. The Neenah, Wis., native notched a match-high 14 kills and chipped in 10 digs.
Senior Kristin Heldt added 12 kills and nine digs, while reigning Big South Freshman of the Week Camryn Freiberg knocked down 10 kills and hit .300 in the match. Sophomore Savannah Angel tallied a team-high five total blocks and added eight kills while hitting .312.
Junior Gabi Mirand distributed a match-high 40 assists and chipped in 10 digs to post her 11th double-double of the season, while two-time reigning Big South Defensive Player of the Week Wavie Chin totaled a match-high 17 digs against CSU.
The Bucs raced out to a 12-8 advantage in the opening set and led by that margin (17-13) midway through the frame. CSU extended its edge to six (21-15), before HPU surged with six-straight points to tie the set at 21. The run included two kills and a block from Angel. From there, CSU responded with a 4-0 run of its own to win the first set, 25-21. HPU held a 18-13 edge in digs in the set but hit just .054 in the frame.
The Panthers opened up an 8-4 lead in the second set before CSU used a 4-0 run to tie the set at eight. The Bucs went up two at 13-11 but HPU rallied with a 3-0 run to take a 17-16 lead after a kill from Barnes. The Panthers used a 3-0 run to extend the edge to three at 21-18 and ultimately took the second set, 25-20.
The two teams played to an 8-8 tie in set three before CSU jumped in front by four at 13-9. The Bucs extended the edge to five at 18-13, but HPU raced back with a 5-0 run to tie the match at 18-18. After CSU went back up three at 21-18, the Panthers rallied to tie the score at 21-21 and again at 25-25. From there, HPU won the final two points of the set – including the clinching kill from Barnes – to take it, 28-26.
The Panthers raced out to a 10-6 lead in set four before CSU rallied with four of the next five points to cut the HPU edge to 11-10. From there, HPU used a 6-1 run to build a 17-11 advantage. The run included kills from Barnes, Heldt and sophomore Megan Kennedy. The Panthers cruised to a 25-15 set victory in the fourth and won the match, 3-1.
HPU returns to action Saturday at 2 p.m. with its regular season finale at Coastal Carolina (21-6, 10-3).