Elon Volleyball Phoenix Falls to HPU Panthers in Five

HIGH POINT PRESS RELEASE (Elon Press Release Below)
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• Freshman Molly Livingston provided 11 kills while hitting at a .667 clip to lead HPU.
• Sophomore Haley Barnes posted a team-best 14 kills to go with eight digs on the night.
• High Point will be back at home this weekend to host the HPU Classic sponsored by the Hampton Inn, which gets underway Friday at 10:30 a.m. when HPU hosts South Carolina State.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore Haley Barnes and freshman Molly Livingston led the High Point University volleyball team to a dramatic 3-2 victory in the Millis Center on Tuesday night.

“It was great to be back in the Millis Center for a hard fought match tonight,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “Obviously both teams left a couple points on the floor but ultimately when it mattered most we found a way to make all the right plays. I’m proud of our team’s effort and it’s a sign of a good team to find a way to win when you don’t have you A-game.”

Elon (0-4) took the first and third set while HPU (2-2) responded each time to win the second and fourth set. The Panthers jumped out to a 14-9 lead in the final frame of the night, but allowed the Phoenix to fight back and tie the score at 14-14. However, HPU showed their grit and took the next to points to close out the victory.

For the fourth straight game to start the campaign, Barnes paced the Panthers offense with 14 kills. However, it was Livingston’s precision that sparked HPU as the Wisconsin native hit .667 with a career-high 11 kills. Junior Megan Kennedy (9 kills), sophomore Camryn Freiberg (8 kills) and freshman Abby Broadstreet (8 kills) provided depth to the Panthers’ attack.

Once again, senior Annemarie Chin had a brilliant game defensively with a game-best 26 digs. Senior Gabi Mirand added 16 digs while posting 23 assists. Sophomore Carly Jimenez led HPU with 28 of the team’s 57 assists and led the team with three service aces. At the net, redshirt-junior Savannah Angel provided a lift with 5 block assists.

The Purple & White tallied a +15 margin in digs (77-62) while Elon registered a .158 to .141 advantage in attacking percentage. HPU posted 60 digs to the Phoenix’s 43.

Barnes helped the Panthers grab an early lead with four kills as HPU grabbed an 18-13 lead. However, the Phoenix stormed back and took a 20-19 advantage. A service error from Elon knotted the score at 20-20 before the visitors took the final five points of the set (25-20).

The second set started much like the first as the Purple & White raced out to a 6-1 lead. However, as it did in the first set, Elon came back to tie the score at 10-10. From there the two squads stayed within one point before the Phoenix moved ahead 24-22. But HPU answered with four straight points to earn the victory in the second frame.

The Phoenix, which started slow in the first two sets, came out of the break on fire and took an 11-4 lead. The Panthers clawed right back to take a 14-13 lead on a huge kill from Livingston. But Elon had the answer and scored 12 of the next 18 points to win the set 25-20.

A well-balanced attack from HPU allowed the Purple & White to once again nab a big lead (16-8). This time the home team was able to close out the set without allowing the Phoenix to mount any sort of comeback. Led by Livingston and Barnes, HPU hit .429 while holding Elon to a .088 hitting percentage.

In the final set, HPU got out to a 5-1 lead behind two early kills from Kennedy. From there the advantage grew 14-9 with kills from six different players. Elon, however, didn’t go down quietly and knotted to score 14-14. But back-to-back kills from Freiberg and Kennedy gave the Panthers the dramatic triumph in their home-opener.

The Purple & White will be back in the Millis Center over the weekend as they host the HPU Classic sponsored by the Hampton Inn. The Panthers open play in the tournament on Friday morning against South Carolina State and then Loyola (Md.) at 5 p.m. HPU will be back in action on Saturday against Georgia State at 4 p.m.


HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Elon volleyball team (0-4) suffered another heartbreaking five-set defeat tonight, Sept. 1, at High Point (2-2) with the Panthers taking the 3-2 victory (25-20, 24-26, 25-20, 12-25, 14-16) in the Millis Center.

“Seems like this is becoming a habit – going five sets in matches against High Point,” said Elon head coach Mary Tendler. “The execution wasn’t great on either side, but both teams fought hard. Our block was very effective tonight, which is an improvement from our last match.”

In the fifth set, Elon found itself in trouble early, trailing 6-1. With the Panthers holding a 14-9 advantage and set point, the Phoenix used kills by Sydney Busa and Megan Gravley and a block by Michelle Klein and Ebony Scott to even the score, 14-all. However, HPU would take the last two points for the 16-14 win.

The Phoenix defense out-blocked the Panthers, 13-6, with the help of a career-high 10 blocks from Cat Head. Both Gravley and Scott tallied three blocks, while Maddie Jaudon finished with 19 digs.

Gravley led all players with 19 kills and fell just short of the double-double with nine digs. Head tallied six kills followed by Busa with five.

Haley Barnes recorded a team-high 14 kills for HPU, while Annemarie Chin posted 26 digs.

How it happened: Elon was forced to call its second timeout of the first set with the Phoenix trailing by five, 18-13. The maroon and gold came out of the break with a purpose as block by Ally Karle and Sydel Curry gave Elon its first lead, 20-19. Kills by Busa and Karle closed out the set for a 25-20 maroon and gold win as the Phoenix closed out a 12-2 run.

Set two saw eight ties by the time Elon claimed an 18-17 advantage. A kill by Terry gave the Phoenix set point, 24-23, but the Panthers would rally to claim the final three points for a 26-24 win to even the match.

With Elon leading 13-9 in the third set, HPU was able to claim six straight points to take a 15-13 edge. Off the serve of Kayla Agae, Elon responded a few plays later with a 7-0 run to move ahead by four, 22-18. Kills by Scott and Gravley sealed the victory, 25-20, as the Phoenix took a 2-1 match lead.

Elon kept the fourth set close in the beginning with kills by Klein, Gravley and Head before the Panthers pulled away for a 25-12 win to once again even the match and send it into a deciding fifth set.

Notes: Elon held a 4-0 advantage in blocks after the first set…HPU did not record a block until the third set…The Phoenix hit .158 in the match, while the Panthers hit .141.

Up next: The Phoenix hosts its annual Elon Phoenix Classic as it plays its first home matches this weekend. Elon takes on Charleston Southern in the first night of the tournament on Friday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym.