Defense leads HPU Volleyball to a straight-set triumph over CSU

• Junior Amy Pilat racked up 20 of HPU’s 57 digs as Charleston Southern hit just .010 on the night.
• Senior Megan Kennedy (11 kills, 10 digs) and junior Haley Barnes (10 kills, 10 digs) each posted double-double for the Panthers.
• High Point served up 11 aces on the night, the second most in a three-set match this season.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team’s defense held Charleston Southern to a negative attack percentage in a 3-0 victory in Millis Center on Friday night.

Junior Amy Pilat registered 20 digs and three aces for the Panthers (17-7, 8-3) who tallied 57 digs and 11 aces. On the other hand, the Bucs (11-15, 6-4) couldn’t get their offense going posting just 20 kills compared to 21 errors.

“We talk a lot about trying to be a difficult team to play against and that can show in a lot of different ways,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Defensively, we have the potential to be a great blocking group and our floor defense kept getting better as the match went on tonight. Hopefully this is the direction we are building and it shows the potential of what this team can achieve.”

From their outside hitter spots, both senior Megan Kennedy and junior Haley Barnes recorded double-doubles. Kennedy’s 11 kills and 10 digs represented her fifth double-double while Barnes’ 10-and-10 night was her 13th.

In the middle, sophomore Molly Livingston was efficient offensively with seven kills (.462) while earning a team-best six blocks. Similarly, sophomore Jordan Hefner added three kills and three blocks.

Redshirt-senior Savannah Angel and sophomore Katie Tylman combined for seven kills and five blocks from the right side. Meanwhile, freshman Jenna Smith led the way with 19 assists, six digs and one ace as junior Carly Jimenez chipped in with 11 assists and five digs.

From the service line, Barnes posted four aces as Pilat registered three and Kennedy added a pair.

Two aces from Barnes sparked a 4-1 run to begin the evening, but the Bucs battled back to take a 13-12 lead. However, HPU responded to even the score at 15-all after a kill by Livingston.

Smith took it from there serving up a 10-0 run to close the set (25-15) as HPU held CSU to a -.029 attack percentage.

Much like the opening frame, the Purple & White jumped out to an early lead behind a solid serving run. This time it was Pilat’s two aces that helped open up a 7-1 advantage.

Unlike the first set, HPU didn’t allow CSU to get any closer than five the rest of the way as the home team cruised to a 25-16 victory behind five kills from Kennedy.

For the first time on the night, the Bucs came out of the intermission and built a three-point edge (6-3). But the Panthers had the answer as Kennedy served the team to an 8-0 run (11-6).

CSU, then, snapped the run to make it 11-7 but never got any closer as High Point closed out a 25-16 win. With the victory, HPU extended its winning streak in the series to 22 matches.

The Purple & White are right back at it in the Millis Center on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Winthrop.