• Senior Haley Barnes recorded eight digs to join Chelsea Davis, Audie Gonzalez and Jamie Kaufman as the fourth Panther in the Division I era to amass 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.
• Freshman Katie Doering missed her career high by one with seven kills while hitting at a .429 clip.
• Barnes was named Tussle in the Triad MVP as HPU claimed the title for the second straight year while junior Molly Livingston and freshman Abby Bottomley joined her on the all-tournament team.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team started fast and never let up sweeping Elon on Saturday night in the Millis Center to win the Tussle in the Triad for the second straight year. Meanwhile, senior Haley Barnes collected eight digs to join Audie Gonzalez as the only two Division I Panthers in the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club.
Freshman Katie Doering sparked the Panthers (7-6) in the early going with four first-set kills as HPU took the frame 25-17. Then, in the second the Phoenix (10-4) could only muster six kills compared to eight errors as High Point won 25-11. Following that, the home squad regrouped from a slow start after the break to win 25-13 and complete the sweep.
“I thought we played a clean match and that is what we’ve been building towards,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “This morning we were able to take a step forward closing out a match winning the fourth set and this evening we focused on winning the second set after playing well in the first. Elon really came out with energy in the third, but our team was able to respond and keep the focus level high and gradually take over the match. Overall it was a great day as now we get ready to start conference.”
Doering finished the night with seven kills – one shy of her career high – while junior Molly Livingston led the way with nine to go with five blocks. Meanwhile, junior Abby Broadstreet added seven kills, Barnes posted six and junior Jordan Hefner chipped in with four.
But it was the defense that shined for HPU on the night as the squad tallied 51 digs, five blocks and forced 30 Elon attack errors. Freshman Abby Bottomley led the way with 21 to go with Barnes’ eight to join the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club
“It’s a very humbling and exciting because I’ve worked really hard in my career,” Barnes said of joining the elite club. “It was never really a goal of mine because I always just try to put my team in the best position to win.”
From the setter spot, sophomore Jenna Smith tallied 19 assists and seven digs as senior Carly Jimenez registered nine assists and four digs.
Overall, the Purple & White hit at a .273 clip while holding Elon to a -.035 attack percentage. HPU earned a 35-26 edge in kills and 5-4 margin in aces behind two apiece from Broadstreet and Livingston.
Doering set the tone early with four first-set kills while the defense forced 11 attack errors by Elon in the frame en route to a 25-17 win for HPU. It was more of the same for the Phoenix in the set frame as it hit -.054 thanks in large part to nine digs from Bottomley. On the offensive end, Livingston and Barnes combined for eight kills as HPU took a 2-0 advantage with a 25-11 win.
Elon came out of the intermission with three straight points, but the Panthers immediately responded scoring the next six to lead 6-3. From there, the home team would never look back closing out the victory by a score of 25-13.
The Panthers open conference play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they visit the Vines Center to play Liberty.
All-Tussle in the Triad Team
High Point – Haley Barnes (MVP)
High Point – Abby Bottomley
High Point – Molly Livingston
Elon – TBA
Elon – TBA
Navy – Patricia Mattingly
UNCG – Ashley Muench