Barnes leads HPU Volleyball to 3-1 victory at N.C. State

• Junior Haley Barnes completed the night with 18 kills and 13 digs to go with three aces.
• Sophomore Molly Livingston racked up 15 kills to go with five blocks and four digs.
• The win marks the High Point University volleyball program’s first ACC win since besting Wake Forest on August 28, 2012 in the Millis Center.

RALEIGH, N.C. – Behind 18 kills from junior Haley Barnes, the High Point University volleyball team notched a 3-1 triumph at N.C. State in Reynolds Coliseum on Friday night.

The Panthers (6-2) won a hard-fought first set to grab control before the Wolfpack (5-4) evened the match at 1-1 before the break. But after the break, the Purple & White hit over .210 in the third and the fourth frames to earn a 3-1 victory.

“We had a lot to learn from Tuesday and I have to credit our group for working to fix those things,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Like I’ve said all year, this is a process that is going to last all season. We had confidence tonight, even when we gave up a run, and showed a lot of poise and that’s when you have a lot of faith in your group.”

Along with her game-high 18 kills, Barnes racked up 13 digs and three aces while hitting at a .267 clip. Similarly, sophomore Molly Livingston provided a huge performance with 15 kills and five blocks as she hit .419.

Defensively, HPU earned a 72-71 edge in digs as junior Amy Pilat registered 24 in the match. Fellow junior Carly Jimenez also posted double-digit kills with 10 to go with her 23 assists.

The squad’s other setter, freshman Jenna Smith, added 25 assists and seven digs in the win.

The Panthers offense finished the night with a .184 attack percentage while holding the Wolfpack to a .159 mark. Joining Barnes and Livingston on the attack, sophomore Katie Tylman chipped in with eight kills while senior Megan Kennedy added six kills and 12 digs.

After two N.C. State errors, Livingston’s first kill of the night gave the Panthers a 3-1 edge in the opening frame. However, the Wolfpack fought right back taking a 7-6 lead.

From there, HPU pulled even on several occasions but couldn’t take the lead until Barnes served an ace to make it 20-19. Consecutive blocks followed as upped the lead to 22-19 and held on for a 25-21 victory.

Much like the first set, the two teams battled back and forth in the second until a 12-4 N.C. State run gave the Wolfpack a 22-16 edge. On the strength of that run, the home team held on to take the set 25-19 and even the match at 1-1.

After splitting the first six points, the Wolfpack went on a 3-0 run to build a 6-3 edge early in the third set. But the Panthers kept clawing away and took the lead with a kill from Tylman (16-15).

Once again, the Wolfpack pulled even at 23-23 before Livingston tallied a kill and a set-winning ace to give HPU a 25-23 win.

As they did all night, the two teams went battled early in the fourth frame as neither team could gain momentum until N.C. State earned a 15-14 edge. However, High Point had the answer responding with a 5-1 run to take a 19-16 advantage.

But N.C. State wouldn’t go quietly pulling within one at 23-22 before Barnes and Kennedy posted consecutive kills to finish off the win (25-23). The night’s victory is the program’s first over an ACC foe since August 28, 2012 against Wake Forest in the Millis Center.

The Panthers are right back on the Reynolds Coliseum floor against SMU at 10 a.m. before wrapping up the weekend against Delaware at 2 p.m.