High Point Volleyball edged by Clemson in four sets

• Junior Haley Barnes led the way with a double-double racking up 18 kills and 15 digs in the match.
• Sophomores Molly Livingston and Katie Tylman each tallied eight kills while combining for nine blocks.
• Junior Carly Jimenez dished out 25 assists while adding seven digs.

CLEMSON, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team took the first frames, but dropped three hard-fought sets in a 3-1 setback to Clemson in the Big Orange Bash.

Junior Haley Barnes continued her hot start to the season with 18 kills and 15 digs. Likewise, sophomores Molly Livingston and Katie Tylman bagged eight kills apiece in the match.

From their setter position, junior Carly Jimenez (25 assists) and freshman Jenna Smith (19 assists) combined for 44 assists and 14 digs.

In the middle, sophomore Jordan Hefner chipped in with seven kills as senior Megan Kennedy added five from the outside.

The Panthers (1-1) opened the match hitting .344 in the first set and then .296 in the second before committing nine errors in each of the final two sets. The team finished the afternoon with a .202 attack percentage while the Tigers (1-1) posted a .243 mark.

High Point out-dug Clemson with 54 digs compared to the Tigers’ 48, but posted two fewer blocks.

Barnes opened the match with two kills and an ace to give the Panthers a 4-1 edge early. The Purple & White offense kept the pressure up converting five of their first six attack attempts to build a 10-3 advantage. However, the Tigers were able to chip away and pull within two (23-21), but a service error and a Kennedy block gave HPU a 25-21 win.

The teams went back and forth early before the Tigers were able build a 12-9 lead midway through the frame. From there, Clemson’s lead swelled to as many as seven (23-16) before HPU cut the deficit to three (23-20). But the Tigers held on to claim a 25-21 victory.

After the intermission, Clemson came out and built an 8-5 lead. The Panthers were able to pull within one on multiple occasions including 23-22, but couldn’t overcome nine attack errors as the Tigers took the set 25-23.

In the fourth frame, HPU came out with blocks from Tylman and Livingston to build a 5-2 lead. However, a 5-1 run from Clemson gave the home team a 7-6 edge. From there, the Panthers responded with a 5-1 spurt to take an 11-8 lead. But the Tigers responded with an 8-1 run of their own to build a 16-13 advantage.

The Panthers refused to go away evening the score at 23-all, but couldn’t complete the comeback as Clemson took the set 25-23 and the match 3-1.

The Panthers will be right back on the Jervey Gym floor to take on William & Mary at 4 p.m.