HPU Volleyball Panthers drop hard-fought match to Campbell, 3-2

• High Point posted a season-best 91 digs as four different Panthers were credited with at least 13 on the night.
• Junior Haley Barnes didn’t register a kill in the first set, but finished the match with a team-high 19 kills to go with 16 digs and three blocks.
• Sophomore Jordan Hefner tied her career high with eight total blocks while adding seven kills (.375).

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team fell 3-2 to Campbell in a match that seesawed throughout the night on Tuesday in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (14-7, 5-3) racked up a season-best 91 digs, but couldn’t overcome 30 attack errors. Meanwhile, Campbell equaled HPU’s dig totals and earned a plus-10 margin in kills (72-62) to secure the road win.

It’s the second time this season the two squads have played five matches after HPU won at Campbell in five frames two weeks ago.

The Camels took the first and third sets (25-22 and 26-24), but the Panthers responded each to taking the second and fourth (30-28 and 25-23). However, it was the visitors who were able to win the deciding fifth game 15-8.

“It was a very hard-fought match decided by which team could play more consistent,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “As much as we would have liked to come away with the win, we are learning a lot about our group and where we need to get better to reach our potential. I have a lot of confidence in our effort and ability to make these changes on the fly and I know we all can’t wait to take the court again on Friday.”

Despite not tallying a kill in the first set, junior Haley Barnes came on as the match grew longer posting 19 kills while hitting at a .220 clip. Joining Barnes with double-digit kills were senior Megan Kennedy (11 kills) and sophomore Katie Tylman (11 kills).

In the middle, sophomore Jordan Hefner tied her career high with eight blocks while chipping in with seven kills (.375) as sophomore Molly Livingston added six kills.

From her libero spot, junior Amy Pilat led the team with 19 digs. Similarly, Barnes (16 digs), Kennedy (14 digs) and junior Carly Jimenez (13 digs) joined Pilat in double figures in digs.

Along with her 13 digs, Jimenez led HPU with 25 assists while freshman Jenna Smith posted 22 assists and nine digs.

At the net, Barnes and Tylman chipped in with three blocks apiece as Livingston and Kennedy each added two. In total, the Purple & White earned a +4 edge in blocks (11-7).

The teams split the first 12 points of the match before Campbell created separation with a 6-2 run (12-8). HPU, then, responded to take an 18-16 advantage behind hot hitting from Hefner and Livingston. However, the Camels answered with a 9-4 stretch to take the set 25-22.

In the second set, Broadstreet came off the bench to serve the Panthers to a 5-0 as they built an 18-9 edge. But again, the visitors fought right back to even the score at 23-all.

From there, the teams went back and forth until a kill by Barnes knotted the score at 28-28. Campbell followed with a setting error before Kennedy and Hefner stuffed the Camels at the net to close out the 30-28 win.

After the intermission, a pair of kills by Hefner allowed HPU to vault out to a 10-5 advantage. From there the lead swelled to seven (20-13) but a 13-4 run allowed the Camels to storm back and steal the frame 26-24.

Almost the exact opposite of the third set, Campbell built an 18-12 lead in the frame only to see Barnes spark a comeback with five kills down the stretch. The Neenah, Wis. product registered five kills in the Panthers 13-5 run to pull out a 25-23 victory.

In the fifth set, the Camels once again jumped out to a large lead (11-5). This time, High Point didn’t have time to rebound and dropped the deciding frame 15-8.

The Panthers are back on the road this weekend at Presbyterian at 7 p.m. on Friday before taking on Charleston Southern at 2 p.m. on Saturday.