Hefner, HPU Volleyball block GWU on way to 3-1 victory

• Sophomore Jordan Hefner posted 11 blocks – the most by a Big South player this season – to break the HPU single-season block record (115).
• Junior Haley Barnes recorded a team-high 13 kills to up her career total to 994.
• Senior Greta Griswold tallied a career-high eight digs in the win.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore Jordan Hefner registered a record-breaking night to lead the High Point University volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb in the Millis Center on Friday night.

Hefner paced the Panthers (19-9, 10-5) with 11 blocks on the night. That mark is the most by a Big South player this season and moved her past Katie Vincent and Jamie McDonald for the most in a season in HPU’s Division I era.

“I have to give a lot of credit to Gardner-Webb, I thought they played a really good match,” head coach Tom Mendoza said of the win. “I thought we played that first set pretty clean and they matched us. After that, I thought we regrouped and played an above-average second set and then played at a similar level in the third set. But midway through that set we picked up our defensive scrappiness. I loved the way we played in game four and I want that to be our team.”

Despite not recording a block in the first set, High Point racked up 14 on the night as sophomore Katie Tylman added seven. Meanwhile, junior Haley Barnes and sophomore Molly Livingston chipped in with three apiece.

On the offensive end, Barnes posted 13 kills to move to 994 career kills – just six from becoming the 10th Panther to record 1,000 Division I kills. Similarly, redshirt-senior Savannah Angel tallied 11 kills while hitting at a .500 clip.

Joining Angel on the right side, Tylman just missed giving the Panthers a third player with double digit kills posting nine on the night.

Senior Megan Kennedy moved to libero and posted 18 digs. Likewise, Barnes posted 18 digs to earn her 16th double-double of the year.

Joining Kennedy in the back row, senior Greta Griswold racked up a career high with eight digs as sophomore Abby Broadstreet notched seven.

From their shared setter spot, junior Carly Jimenez (21 and 6) and freshman Jenna Smith (29 and 3) combined for 50 assists and nine digs.

Despite being outhit .406 to .143 in the opening frame, HPU ended the night with a .197 attack percentage while the Runnin’ Bulldogs hit .118 against High Point’s block.

In the opening frame, Angel racked up five kills on seven attack attempts (.714), but the team could only muster a .143 mark as GWU posted five blocks. Offensively, the Runnin’ Bulldogs were efficient hitting .406 to take the frame 25-17.

Behind an improved attack and four block assists from Hefner, the Purple & White grabbed a 21-14 advantage in the second frame. However, Gardner-Webb battled back to within three (22-19) before HPU was able to close out the set (25-19).

After the intermission, the two squads split the first 30 points (15-15) before a 5-2 spurt allowed the Runnin’ Bulldogs to grab a 20-17 lead. But Barnes responded with two kills sandwich around two blocks from Hefner as HPU finished the frame on an 8-1 run to win 25-21.

In the final frame, High Point’s defense turned up the heat racking up 24 digs and five blocks to hold GWU to a -.128 hitting percentage. On the other side, Livingston racked up four kills to anchor the offense in a 25-14 victory.

The Purple & White will celebrate their three seniors prior to Saturday’s match against Presbyterian at 4 p.m. in the Millis Center.