Stellar Defense Leads HPU Volleyball To 3-1 Victory Over CSU

• Sophomore Haley Barnes registered a double-double with 22 kills and 12 digs.
• The Panthers’ defense combined for 79 digs as they held the Buccaneers to a .035 attack percentage.
• With the win High Point clinches the No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament and will finish the regular season against the No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team’s defense racked up 79 digs and held Charleston Southern to a .035 attack percentage in a 3-1 triumph in the Millis Center on Thursday night.

Sophomore Haley Barnes stole the show on the offensive side for the Panthers (21-8, 11-2) with 22 kills and 12 digs while hitting at a .386 clip. The Buccaneers (10-21, 4-9) could only muster 28 kills on 141 attack attempts against the Purple & White’s stout defense.

“Obviously, it was great to be back in Millis,” head coach Jason Oliver said after the team’s first home match in nearly a month. “I think we played a little tentative early being back in this environment. It was great to find our stride after the break and I thought we played with the type of focus and energy that we needed in the third and fourth sets.”

With the win the Panthers lock up the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big South Tournament, which High Point will host. It’s the first time HPU has finished in the top-2 in the league since 2010 when it went on to win the conference tournament.

Defensively, it was junior Megan Kennedy who led the squad with 17 kills. Meanwhile, seniors Annemarie Chin (15), Wavie Chin (14) and Gabi Mirand (13) joined Kennedy and Barnes with double-digit digs.

Sophomore Camryn Freiberg chipped in with nine kills on the night as freshmen Molly Livingston and Abby Broadstreet added eight kills. Behind Mirand’s 44 assists, the Panthers hit .273 in the match.

The Purple & White earned a 61-28 margin in kills and a 79-54 edge in digs; however, CSU posted a 10-7 advantage in blocks.

In the opening frame, the Bucs took a 6-3 lead before Barnes sparked a 12-5 run with four of her eight kills in the set (15-11). From there, HPU never let CSU get closer than three as they pulled away for a 25-19 win behind a .310 attack percentage and 22 digs.

The Panthers came flying out of the gate in the second set (6-1), but the Bucs chipped away and tied the frame at 14-all. The Purple & White struggled to get the offense going as they committed 11 attack errors and five service errors en route to dropping the set 25-22 despite posting a 14-7 edge in kills.

But after the break the home team began imposing its will winning the next two sets 25-12 and 25-13. In those final two frames, HPU’s defense allowed just 12 kills while to offense posted a .418 attack percentage.

The Panthers wrap up the regular season on Saturday against Coastal Carolina at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The team will recognize seniors Gabi Mirand, Annemarie Chin and Wavie Chin prior to the match.