High Point Volleyball drops road contest at VCU, 3-1

• Senior Megan Kennedy tallied eight kills and seven digs on the night.
• Sophomore Molly Livingston also added eight kills to go with three blocks.
• Junior Haley Barnes paced the team with 15 digs while chipping in with six kills in the match.

RICHMOND, Va. – The High Point University volleyball team went on the road on Tuesday night and fell in four sets to VCU in Richmond, Va. The setback snaps a four-match winning streak for the Panthers (5-2) and gives the Rams a 3-4 record on the year.

High Point vaulted out to seven-point leads in the first and second sets, but could only manage a split before falling in both sets after the intermission (25-27, 25-18, 15-25 and 21-25).

“Obviously its not the result we were looking for, but it was nice to see the team battle for points even though our execution wasn’t up to our standard,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Tonight gave us a lot to learn from and we will use the next few days to continue to get better before Friday’s match. ”

Senior Megan Kennedy racked up four kills in the first set and finished the night with eight kills to go along with seven digs. Likewise, sophomore Molly Livingston also tallied eight kills while adding four digs and two blocks.

Despite not getting her first kill until midway through the second set, junior Haley Barnes finished the night with six kills and a team-high 15 digs. Meanwhile, junior Amy Pilat chipped in with 13 digs.

The Panthers held the Rams to a .138 attack percentage while hitting at a season-low .106 clip. VCU also earned an edge in blocks (12 to 8) and digs (70 to 65).

Rounding out the five Panthers with at least five kills were sophomores Abby Broadstreet and Jordan Hefner. Broadstreet registered nine digs while Hefner posted four blocks.

In the opening frame the Panthers jumped out to an 11-4 lead behind four early kills from Kennedy. However, the Rams chipped away to pull within one (22-21) before two VCU errors gave HPU a 24-21 lead. But the home team rallied to finish the set on a 6-1 run to take the set 27-25.

Once again, it was High Point that started fast in the second frame as the Panthers opened up an 8-1 advantage. Then, the Rams fought back to within four (22-18) before the Panthers held on for a 25-20 win behind four kills from Livingston in the set.

After the intermission, the two squads split the first 20 points (10-10) before the Rams grabbed control of the frame with an 8-0 run. From there, VCU pulled away for a 25-15 victory.

For the first time in the match, VCU built an early lead in the fourth set taking an 11-6 advantage. Anchored by a serving run by senior Greta Griswold, HPU fought back to knot the score at 12-all. But despite the run, the Panthers couldn’t get over the hump and fell 25-1

The Panthers are back in action on Friday night to take on the Wolfpack in HPU’s opener of the Wolfpack Invitational.