HPU Volleyball Drops 3-1 Contest To Coastal Carolina

• Senior Chelsea Davis led the Panthers with a double-double (12 kills, 12 digs)
• Freshman Camryn Freiberg added 11 kills and hit .588 in the match
• The Panthers open the Big South Championship Thursday as the No. 6 seed and play No. 3 Liberty at 5 p.m. in Conway, S.C.

CONWAY, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team pushed Coastal Carolina to the limit Saturday afternoon before ultimately falling to the Chanticleers, 3-1, inside the HTC Center in the Panthers’ regular season finale.

The Purple & White dropped the first two sets (25-18, 25-19) but stormed back to win the third frame, 25-18. HPU took the Chanticleers to the brink in set four but fell just short in a 25-23 effort.

HPU finishes the regular season with a 6-8 league record (12-15 overall) and will enter the Big South Championship as the No. 6 seed. The Panthers will face off with No. 3 Liberty at 5 p.m. Thursday in Conway.

“We fought extremely hard in today’s match,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “I thought our team showed a lot of character and resiliency coming off a quick turnaround from a 7 p.m. match last night to a match today at 11:30 a.m. We’re excited about the opportunity to come down here and play in the conference tournament next weekend. We’re going to take a lot of positives away from this match.”

Three Panthers posted double-digit kill totals to lead the HPU offense. Senior Chelsea Davis registered her sixth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs, while freshman Camryn Freiberg added 11 kills and hit a sizzling .588 while contributing three solo blocks. Sophomore Megan Kennedy added 11 kills and six digs for HPU.

Junior Gabi Mirand distributed 32 assists and added six digs, while junior libero Wavie Chin notched 21 digs to lead the HPU back row.

CCU raced out to a 10-4 lead in the opening set and led 17-9 midway through the frame. The Panthers used a 3-0 run to cut the Chanticleers’ edge to three (18-15), but Coastal Carolina responded with a 3-0 run of its own to go back up six (21-15) and hold on for the first set victory.

Coastal hit .192 in the match and limited HPU to a .158 clip. The Chanticleers also held slim advantages in kills (48-46) and digs (75-72).

After CCU led 7-3 early in the second set, HPU cut it to one at 10-9. But a kill from Eszter Nagy pushed CCU back up five at 17-12 and the Panthers could not get closer than three (19-16) for the remainder of the frame as the Chanticleers took the second set, 25-19.

HPU surged back in set three and led 11-9 early in the frame. The Panthers used a 3-0 run – featuring kills from senior Kristin Heldt and Freiberg – to move ahead by five (15-10) and HPU extended its lead to seven (23-16) after an ace from Davis. The Panthers punctuated the fourth-set victory with a kill from Freiberg to make it 25-18.

In set four, CCU used a 6-0 run to go up 13-7, but HPU responded with a 5-0 run of its own to cut the Chanticleers’ edge to 15-14. A block from Davis tied the set at 17-17 and the Panthers again tied the game at 20-20 on a block from senior Katie Vincent. CCU set up match point at 24-22, and HPU deflected the next point after a kill from Kennedy. But CCU took the final point on a kill from Leah Hardeman to win the set, 25-23, and the match.