HPU Volleyball Panthers Can¹t Hold Off Flyers, Fall 3-1

• High Point won the first set 25-21 and built leads in the third and fourth frames, but couldn’t hold on against the defending Atlantic 10 champions Dayton.
• Junior Katie Tylman led the HPU attack with 10 kills to go with three blocks.
• Freshman Katie Doering was efficient in the match killing eight of her 12 attempts without and error.

DeKALB, Ill. – The High Point University volleyball team won the first set and built leads in the third and fourth frames, but couldn’t hold on in a 3-1 setback to Dayton on Saturday afternoon in the NIU Express Holiday Inn Invitational.

The Panthers (1-2) claimed the first set 25-21 before the Flyers (2-1) evened the match with a 25-18 triumph. From there, the Purple & White built a seven-point lead in the third and a four-point edge in the fourth before Dayton stormed back to win both (25-22 and 25-23).

“I thought we played well today and competed,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “All four of the sets today were competitive and could’ve gone either way. I was pleased to see us improve as the weekend went on while we played three really solid teams. That type of competition will prepare us for a tough tournament next weekend at Ohio and especially for conference play later in the year. I think we have a lot of things on film to work on in practice and we’ll use this week to get better.”

Junior Katie Tylman got off to a fast start with five first-set kills en route to a team-best 10 kills to go with three total blocks. Joining Tylman on the right side, freshman Katie Doering posted eight kills on 12 attempts (.667).

Wisconsin natives senior Haley Barnes and junior Molly Livingston added nine kills apiece as Barnes added 11 digs and Livingston tallied three blocks.

“This weekend we played some very talented teams and were able to compete at a high level,” Barnes said. “Our preseason games are scheduled tough intentionally so each practice and each weekend we increase our level of play and learn from our competition. We have a big goal for this season and this weekend brings us one step closer.”

From the back row, freshman Abby Bottomley upped her career high with 23 digs as Dayton earned a 64-61 edge in digs. Meanwhile, UD hit .222 on the day as HPU hit .171 despite a fast start.

For the third time in as many matches this weekend, sophomore Jenna Smith orchestrated the High Point attack with 26 assists while collecting six digs. Similarly, senior Carly Jimenez handed out 19 helpers and added five digs.

Rounding out the Panthers’ attack, junior Jordan Hefner recorded seven kills as junior Adeline Ellis (four) and Abby Broadstreet (two) combined for six.

The Flyers took off early hitting .500 while building a 12-8 advantage. However, Tylman sparked a 6-0 run with two kills and a block as HPU took its first lead of the afternoon (14-12). While Dayton did even the score at 16-all the Panthers took nine of the next 14 points to earn the 25-21 win while hitting .395 in the frame.

In the second set HPU scored first on a kill from Livingston, but Dayton took the lead with a 3-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way winning the frame 25-18.

After the intermission, the teams split the first 12 points before three HPU aces – two from Smith – anchored a 10-3 run as the Panthers built a 16-9 advantage. However, the Flyers responded with a 16-6 run of their own to take the set 25-22.

Barnes, who has five kills in the first three sets, sparked High Point with four early kills in the fourth as the Purple & White took an 11-7 edge. But for the second straight set, the Flyers battled back into the lead and held off a late charge by HPU to win 25-23.

The Panthers are back in action next weekend when they visit Athens, Ohio to take on Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio on Sept. 1-2.