HPU volleyball drops Saturday affair at UNC Asheville

• Sophomore Jordan Hefner led the Panther offense with a season-best 12 kills and hit .500 for the match
• Asheville hit .216 on the day while limiting HPU to a .092 clip
• The Purple & White return to the Millis Center Tuesday to battle Campbell (7 p.m.)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team (14-6, 5-2) dropped an afternoon contest to UNC Asheville (9-10, 3-5) Saturday inside the Justice Center.

Asheville won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-21, then claimed the third in extra points, 27-25. The Bulldog victory snapped a five-game Panther win streak.

“The story of the match was making 31 hitting errors in three sets,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Some of those were the symptom of poor first or second contacts, but as a whole it paints a pretty clear picture. Today’s performance was the antithesis of the expectations for our team and the way we need to play moving forward. As a group we need to take ownership of the loss, learn from it and come out with a significantly better effort on Tuesday against a good Campbell team.”

HPU held a 42-36 edge in kills, but the 31 errors limited the Panthers to .092 hitting for the match. Asheville countered at a .216 clip and registered 10 blocks to HPU’s five.

Sophomore Jordan Hefner led the Panther offense with a season-best 12 kills and hit .500 on the day, while redshirt-senior Savannah Angel notched eight kills and tallied three block assists. Junior Haley Barnes added seven kills and registered a team-high 13 digs.

Junior Carly Jimenez paced the Panthers at the setting position, registering 21 assists while digging five balls in the match. Sophomore libero Amy Pilat tallied nine digs for HPU defensively.

HPU grabbed an early 7-5 advantage in the first set and went up 12-8 midway through the frame. Asheville used a 3-0 run to build an 18-15 edge, but HPU rallied with a 3-0 spurt of its own to go back up two (22-20). But the back and forth affair continued, as Asheville tallied the final five points of the frame to take it, 25-22.

The Bulldogs continued the run into the second set, opening the frame with a 5-0 advantage. HPU utilized 5-1 run to tie up the score at 8-8, but Asheville answered with a 6-0 surge to build a 15-9 cushion. The Panthers cut the Bulldog lead to three (23-20), but UNCA closed the set with two of the final three points to win it, 25-21.

In the third set, the Panthers took a 9-8 lead on a kill from Barnes but Asheville rallied back to take a 15-12 lead. A Livingston kill capped a 4-0 run that moved HPU ahead, 16-15, and the Panthers increased the lead to two (19-17) on a Livingston service ace. HPU held set point at 24-22, but Asheville grabbed two points to tie it up and won the set in extra points, 27-25.

HPU is right back at it Tuesday night when the Panthers return to the Millis Center to battle Campbell at 7 p.m.