Balanced offense keys HPU Volleyball’s sweep of UNC Asheville

• Junior Amy Pilat registered 11 digs in the first set en route to a 28-dig performance.
• Redshirt-senior Savannah Angel posted nine kills on just 11 attack attempts (.818) to go with three blocks.
• Junior Carly Jimenez tallied a double-double with 27 assists and 10 digs on the afternoon.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team’s offense hit .360 while the defense racked up 72 digs in a three-set sweep of UNC Asheville on Saturday in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (11-5, 2-1) seized control of the match hitting .516 in the opening frame and .360 overall while holding the Bulldogs (6-7, 0-2) to a .144 mark in the match.

“We’re happy to go 2-0 during the home weekend,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “When one area of our game was having fluctuations tonight, we were able to stay consistent in the other areas and that is what allowed us to be successful. Our attack was consistent and was able execute when we had good passes. I thought that allowed our passers to get in a good rhythm especially in the last two sets. We found some more things to work on going forward, but it’s great to get two wins on our first home weekend.”

The High Point offense showed its depth as seven different Panthers tallied at least four kills. Meanwhile, the defense racked up 72 digs behind a 28-dig outing from junior Amy Pilat – 9.33 digs per set.

Sophomore Katie Tylman’s 13 kills led the attack as junior Haley Barnes added a dozen. The most efficient member of the Purple & White was redshirt-senior Savannah Angel who tallied nine kills on 11 attempts (.818).

Orchestrating the HPU offense was the combo of junior Carly Jimenez and freshman Jenna Smith. Jimenez produced a double-double with 27 assists and 10 digs as Smith chipped in with 19 assists and six digs.

Rounding out the offensive depth was sophomore Molly Livingston (five kills), Abby Broadstreet (five kills) and Jordan Hefner (four kills) along with senior Megan Kennedy (four kills).

Defensively, Kennedy and Broadstreet combined for 16 digs as the Panthers posted a 72-44 edge in digs. Likewise, HPU tallied a +20 (52-32) margin in kills on the afternoon.

The Panthers came out of the locker room and dominated the first set. HPU racked up 17 kills while making just one error to post a .516 hitting percentage to go with 20 digs – with 11 coming from Pilat. The home team never trailed en route to a 25-18 win.

In the second frame, the Bulldogs grabbed an early 3-1 lead. From there, the UNC Asheville advantage grew to five (19-14), as HPU couldn’t pull even.

However, two kills from Livingston keyed a 6-2 run to knot the score at 21-21. Then, an attack error from the Bulldogs and a kill from Barnes gave HPU a 23-21 advantage. But UNC Asheville fought right back to take a 24-23 lead.

Angel had the answer though knocking down her sixth kill before an ace from Livingston and a block by Angel and Hefner gave HPU a 26-24 victory.

After the intermission the Bulldogs, once again, built a lead going up 16-12. However five kills from Barnes sparked a 13-3 run as the Panthers took the set 25-19.

The Purple & White will have Tuesday and Friday off to rest up before heading to Winthrop for a 4 p.m. match in Rock Hill, S.C.