• Sophomore Haley Barnes just missed a double-double with 9 kills and 10 digs to lead the Panthers.
• Senior Annemarie Chin paced High Point’s defense with 16 digs.
• The Panthers will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. against host Georgia and 4 p.m. against Wofford.
ATHENS, Ga. – The High Point University volleyball team fell in three sets to Memphis in the first match of the Benson Hospitality Invitational in Athens, Ga. on Friday.
“Obviously, this is not the outcome we wanted,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “But the things we worked on this offseason showed with 54 digs, which is something we haven’t done the last few seasons. Memphis is a great team and kept the pressure on us and we will learn from this moment and have a great season.”
Sophomore Haley Barnes led the Panthers with 9 kills and 10 digs while fellow sophomore Camryn Freiberg tallied seven kills. Freshmen Jordan Hefner and Abby Broadstreet chipped in with six kills apiece as Hefner hit a team-best .500. Sophomore Carly Jimenez racked up 15 assists while senior Gabi Mirand registered a dozen.
Defensively, senior Annemarie Chin paced the Purple & White with a match-high 16 digs. Junior Megan Kennedy joined Chin and Barnes with double digit digs with 11. At the net, freshman Molly Livingston made an impact with one solo block and three block assists.
Overall, the Panthers hit .147 while Memphis posted a .262 attack percentage. Both teams compiled 53 digs while HPU earned a 5-3 advantage in blocks.
Memphis opened the first set with a 3-0 run and built a 7-3 lead before HPU responded with a 4-1 bolstered by kills by Kennedy and Broadstreet. However, the Tigers bounced back taking eight of the next 12 to build a 16-11 advantage.
Barnes answered back for the Panthers with three straight kills to cut the Tigers’ lead to one (16-15). The Purple & White took their first lead of the afternoon on consecutive kills from Freiberg (21-20). But the Tigers stormed back with a 5-1 run to take the set 25-22.
HPU opened the second set with a 5-1 run thanks to solid serving from senior Wavie Chin. However, an 8-2 stretch allowed the Tigers to move out in front at 9-7. Neither team was able to get the offense rolling as Memphis took the set 25-21 as both teams hit under .100 in the frame.
The third set went back and forth early on as HPU trailed 9-8 after a service ace from Barnes. From there the Tigers’ lead grew to five before Barnes came back with consecutive kills to cut the deficit to three (17-14). The Purple & White couldn’t get any closer as Memphis won the set 25-18.
The Panthers will be back in action tomorrow when they face host Georgia at 1 p.m. on SEC Network Plus. HPU will get a short break before wrapping up their appearance in the tournament against Wofford at 4 p.m.