Balanced Attack Carries HPU Volleyball to 3-0 Sweep of Oklahoma

• The Purple & White used a 10-0 run behind freshman Abby Bottomley’s two aces to take control of the second set and momentum in the match en route to a 3-0 victory over Oklahoma.
• Junior Katie Tylman paced a balanced HPU attack with nine kills while hitting at a .471 clip.
• Freshman Abby Bottomley recorded a match-best 17 digs to go along with her two aces.

ATHENS, Ohio – The High Point University volleyball team picked up a 3-0 victory over Oklahoma on Friday afternoon in the first match of the Bobcat Invitational.

The Panthers (2-2) won the first set 25-21 before using a 10-0 run in the second frame to erase a deficit and post another 25-21 victory. The Sooners (1-3) built a lead in the third, but once again the Purple & White battled back to take the frame 25-19.

“I thought that we competed very well and won a lot of 50-50 scramble points, but on the flipside I don’t think we played as cleanly as we can or need to play,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Georgia did a good job this morning against Ohio playing consistent and clean. I know that is something we are capable of and will need to do going forward. We can take a lot of positives from this match, especially being able to beat a program like Oklahoma, but I think have better volleyball in us than we played. We can’t get caught up in results right now because we just need to keep getting better.”

From her libero spot, freshman Abby Bottomley racked up 17 digs to go with two aces during the crucial 10-0 in the second set. Meanwhile, sophomore setter Jenna Smith dished out 22 assists while adding six digs and junior Carly Jimenez chipped in with 12 assists and three digs.

On the attack, HPU boasted six players with at least five kills with junior Katie Tylman leading the way with nine kills along with a .471 attack percentage.

“It was good to get a 3-0 win against Oklahoma, but we could’ve been more aggressive and clean on our side,” Tylman said. “We are all excited to play Georgia later today and really bring energy in the match.”

Junior middle blockers Jordan Hefner and Molly Livingston combined for 13 kills and five blocks while fellow junior Abby Broadstreet tallied six kills and and five digs.

Rounding out the attack, freshman Katie Doering recorded five kills and two blocks as senior Haley Barnes notched five kills, nine digs and three aces.

Overall, the Panthers earned a +1 margin in kills (39-38) while the Sooners tallied one more digs (44-43). High Point’s attacking versatility allowed the squad to post a .250 hitting percentage while limiting Oklahoma to a .194 mark.

Oklahoma claimed an 18-17 lead 35 points into the match. However, Hefner and Broadstreet posted kills before Barnes followed with an ace to vault HPU into a 21-18 lead. Tylman, then, chipped in with back-to-back kills to keep the momentum on the Panthers’ side as they claimed the set 25-21.

In the second frame, the Sooners used an early run to build a 14-9 lead. But the Purple & White responded. Hefner and Broadstreet posted kills before Bottomley tallied consecutive aces to anchor a 10-0 run to build a 19-15 edge. From there, Oklahoma pulled to within two, 22-20, before HPU closed out the set 25-21.

Much like the first set, the two team split the first 38 points before Hefner mashed down a kill and Barnes added an ace to make it 21-19 in HPU’s favor. Barnes, then, added another ace before Tylman’s ninth kill and a block by Hefner and Tylman gave High Point a match point opportunity. The Panthers capitalized immediately as Hefner and Tylman combined again to block the Sooners and give HPU a 25-19 victory.

The Purple & White are right back on the court at 5 p.m. to take on Georgia at 5 p.m. In their first match, the Bulldogs dispatched of host Ohio in three sets.