HPU Volleyball wins Tussle in the Triad with 3-0 sweep of YSU

• Junior Haley Barnes racked up 10 kills and nine digs to earn Tussle in the Triad Most Valuable Player honors.
• Sophomore Molly Livingston chipped in with 10 kills and three blocks to earn all-tournament accolades.
• Senior Megan Kennedy chipped in with four kills, nine digs and four aces.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team dominated from start to finish to sweep Youngtown State to claim the title in the Tussle in the Triad Tournament in the Millis Center on Saturday night.

Junior Haley Barnes and Molly Livingston led the Panthers (5-1) as the squad hit .333 on the night while holding the Penguins (2-5) to a .011 attack percentage.

“It was a clean match and we were able to play three strong sets, which is something that we’ve been working toward,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “When you break down our match skill-by-skill I thought we played well in each skill and that’s the type of match we need to put together. I think that shows what type of potential we have as a group when we do that.”

Barnes added 10 kills on the night to finish the weekend with 3.42 kills and 3.25 digs per set to garner MVP honors. Sophomore Molly Livingston also racked up 10 kills to go with three blocks to all-tournament accolades.

Joining those two on the all-tournament team was Friday’s star sophomore Katie Tylman who added three kills on the night. Meanwhile, sophomore Jordan Hefner posted six kills on just seven attacks (.857 attack percentage).

Defensively, the Purple & White racked up 45 digs and six blocks to hold the Penguins offense down. Senior Megan Kennedy posted nine digs and four kills along with four aces on the night. Junior Amy Pilat paced the team with 10 digs from her libero position.

From their shared setter spot junior Carly Jimenez and freshman Jenna Smith added 34 assists and 12 digs on the night.

After the first six points, the first set was knotted at 3-3. But four kills from for different players anchored a 5-1 run to give HPU an 8-4 advantage. From there, the Panthers rode the hot hitting of Barnes to convincing 25- 13 win in the frame. The junior posted six kills as HPU hit .333 while holding YSU to a .037 percentage.

In the second frame the Purple & White took another commanding lead to win the set 25-16, but this time it was the defense that starred for High Point. The team racked up 21 digs and one block to hold the Penguins to a .000 hitting percentage.

Much like the first two sets, the Panthers came out of the break on fire hitting .478 in the frame behind four kills from Hefner. Likewise, HPU dominated on the other side of the net holding YSU to a .000 attack percentage to pull away for a 25-11 win.

The Panthers are back in action on Tuesday when they travel to VCU for a 7 p.m. showdown against the Rams.