HPU Volleyball Panthers drop three-set match to Eagle

• Junior Haley Barnes led the Panthers in kills (11) and digs (15) for her 14th double-double of the season.
• High Point registered 10 blocks on the day behind six from sophomore Jordan Hefner.
• The Panthers are back in the Millis Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Radford.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team couldn’t build any traction on offense in a 3-0 setback to Winthrop on Saturday in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (17-8, 8-4) hit just .104 in the match while the Eagles (12-16, 3-9) posted a .230 mark offensively.

“After last night’s match we felt really good about our direction as a team, but this performance was extremely disappointing,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “We are learning the hard way about the ability to play consistent volleyball. I was embarrassed by our competitiveness on our home court and our fans that came to the match deserved better. It was a gut-check match, but we must understand that it’s a journey and I have faith in our group to make the necessary changes.”

Junior Haley Barnes paced the Purple & White with 11 kills and 15 digs in her 14th double-double of the season. Meanwhile, senior Megan Kennedy added eight kills and four digs at the other outside hitter spot.

In the middle, sophomore Molly Livingston posted six kills while sophomore Jordan Hefner chipped in with six blocks. On the right side, sophomore Katie Tylman recorded seven kills and four blocks.

In the back row, junior Amy Pilat registered 12 digs as freshman Jenna Smith tallied 21 assists and five digs.

Two aces from Smith and three kills from Barnes allowed the Panthers to jump out to a 15-9 lead in the opening frame. However, the Eagles battled right back to knot the score at 17-all before pulling ahead for the first time at 19-18.

Soon after, High Point was able to pull even at 24-24, but Winthrop tallied the next two points to earn a 26-24 victory.

In the second set, neither team was able to build a substantial advantage until the Eagles took a 14-10 lead. However, just a few points later Kennedy recorded an ace to even the score at 17-17.

From there, the Purple & White regained the lead on a kill from Tylman that made it 22-21. But Winthrop responded again taking five of the next seven points to claim a 25-23 win.

After the intermission, the two squads played a tightly contested third set until the Eagles built another four-point edge (20-16). Then, Barnes followed a kill by Livingston with two of her own to pull HPU within one (22-21). But Winthrop took three of the next four points to complete the sweep (25-22).

The Panthers look to rebound on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against conference leading Radford.