High Point Volleyball falls in three sets at Liberty on Saturday

• Junior Haley Barnes led the Panthers with nine kills to go with eight digs in the contest.
• Sophomores Molly Livingston, Katie Tylman and Abby Broadstreet each tallied seven kills on the day.
• High Point concludes the regular season at home against Gardner-Webb on Friday and Presbyterian on Saturday.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The High Point University volleyball team dropped a three-set match at Liberty on Saturday afternoon in the Vines Center.

The setback drops the Panthers 18-9 overall and 9-5 in conference play while it boosts the Flames to 11-4 in Big South action and into the No. 2 spot in the standings.

“I liked our level of competitiveness as the match went on, but our execution waned at times in each set,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “We never need to play perfect, but we made too many consecutive errors to overcome. It was a lesson for our group that we need to channel our emotion and fire into execution and string runs of good play together. We just didn’t have enough of those good stretches today to get the road win. Our serving was the polar opposite from the success we earned on Tuesday and we failed to execute our offense consistently. It’s disappointing, but hopefully we can learn from it and be better when we play here in two weeks.”

On the day, junior Haley Barnes paced the offense with nine kills to move within 20 kills of 1,000 in her career. The Neenah, Wis. product also recorded eight digs and a block in the match.

Along with Barnes, sophomores Molly Livingston, Katie Tylman and Abby Broadstreet recorded seven kills apiece. Livingston added three blocks while Broadstreet registered two digs.

On the defensive end, junior Amy Pilat posted 11 digs as the Flames earned a 44-38 margin in digs. Meanwhile, Liberty was able to post a .340 attack percentage while holding HPU to a .140 clip.

The Flames started the afternoon racking up a 5-1 edge before four kills from Livingston helped pull HPU back to within two (18-16). However, Liberty finished the set on a 7-1 run to earn a 25-17 victory.

After hitting .364 in the first frame, the home team was even more efficient in the second posting a .464 attack percentage en route to a 25-14 win in the set.

After the break, the Panthers opened the third set on a 3-0 spurt after a kill by Broadstreet and an ace from freshman Jenna Smith. From there the squads battled back and forth until the frame was tied at 20-all.

Then, HPU had one of the tough stretches Mendoza discussed committing four straight errors to give Liberty a 24-20 edge. Tylman helped the Purple & White fight off the first match point with a kill, but the Flames closed the set and the match on the next point.

The Panthers return to the Millis Center on Friday to host Gardner- Webb at 7 p.m. before having senior night at 4 p.m. on Saturday against Presbyterian.