HPU Volleyball: Barnes leads Panthers past Camels in five sets

• Junior Haley Barnes registered 17 kills and a season-high 22 digs while adding three aces.
• Sophomore Molly Livingston equaled her career high with seven blocks to go along with 12 kills on the night.
• Sophomore Jordan Hefner added eight kills (.538) and chipped in with seven blocks.

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Junior Haley Barnes racked up 17 kills and 22 digs to lead the High Point University volleyball team to a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph at Campbell on Tuesday night.

In a tightly contested match, the Panthers (13-5, 4-1) were able to pull away in the fourth set and kept the momentum winning the fifth 15-11. The Camels (7-12, 2-3) posted the same attack percentage as HPU (.224) in the evenly matched contest.

Campbell took the first set (25-23) before the Purple & White fought back to take the second 29-27. Out of the break, the Camels seized control again taking the third (25-22).

However, High Point took control in the fourth and never let go winning it 25-17. Campbell, then, opened up the fifth with a 5-3 edge before three kills from Hefner sparked a 12-6 run to earn the victory.

“Conference road matches are always a battle,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “That’s what we came in here expecting and that’s what we got. Both teams hit the same percentage and all five games were close and it’s great to see our group win a match like that. There were several times where we could have caved, but it shows that we’ve built mental strength over the year. We’re happy to have been able to come in here and earn a hard-fought road victory.”

Barnes’ 17 kills were one short of her best effort of the season while her 22 digs were the most she has registered in 2016. Likewise, sophomore Molly Livingston tied her career-high with seven blocks to go with 12 kills.

The Panthers were solid at the net all night as sophomore Jordan Hefner added seven blocks while hitting .538 with eight kills offensively. Similarly, senior Megan Kennedy shined with eight kills, 10 digs and six blocks.

From the right side, sophomore Katie Tylman chipped in with 11 kills and four blocks while redshirt-senior Savannah Angel tallied eight kills and four blocks.

At the setter spot, junior Carly Jimenez dished out 31 assists while freshman Jenna Smith added 24 assists while adding 10 digs.

The Campbell earned a +2 margin in digs (70-68) despite 11 digs from junior Amy Pilat. Meanwhile, HPU earned a 15-9 edge in blocks 9-4 margin in aces on the night.

Barnes jumpstarted the Panthers with three kills and an ace as HPU built a 13-9 edge in the opening frame. However, Campbell responded with a 4-0 run to even the score at 13-all.

From there, neither team could build momentum until a kill by Angel and an ace from sophomore Abby Broadstreet gave High Point a 20-17 advantage. But, the Camels battled back with an 8-3 run to take the set 25-23.

Despite HPU grabbing a 12-10 edge after an ace from Barnes, the Camels produced another comeback to take a 22-19 lead in the second.

However, kills from Tylman and Kennedy pulled the Purple & White within one (22-21) before a CU attack error and a block from Angel and Livingston gave the Panthers a 24-23 edge.

Following a kill by the Camels, the teams went back and forth until Angel posted another block to give HPU a set point (28-27). Jimenez took it from there serving up an ace to give the Panthers a 29-27 victory.

Once again the two teams battled in a tight set out of the break, but High Point couldn’t get its offense going hitting .095 in the frame. Despite the offensive struggles a kill by Livingston pulled HPU to within one (23-22) before Campbell closed out the set scoring the next two points.

In the fourth, the Panthers converted nine of their first 17 attack attempts to build a 12-7 advantage. Campbell was able to fight to within one, but HPU responded to cruise to a 25-17 win in the frame and force the deciding fifth set.

The back and forth night continued in the fifth as Campbell took a
The Panthers’ match scheduled for Friday against Charleston Southern has been postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. The Purple & White will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 14 at Gardner-Webb before taking on UNC Asheville on the next day.