• Senior Haley Barnes racked up 15 kills while hitting at a .500 clip – the highest attack percentage of her career.
• Junior Katie Tylman chipped in with 11 kills and a .526 hitting percentage as the Panthers posted a season-best .377 attack percentage.
• High Point moved to 4-0 in Big South play for the first time since 2008 and is alone atop the conference standings.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Haley Barnes recorded a career-best attack percentage as the High Point University volleyball team used an efficient attack in a 3-0 sweep of Radford on Saturday in the Millis Center.
The Panthers (11-6, 4-0) registered a season-best .377 attack percentage in the victory over the Highlanders (13-2, 3-1). Behind a hot start from junior Katie Tylman, HPU claimed a 25-19 win in the first before holding Radford to a .079 attack percentage while winning the second, 25-16.
Out of the intermission, the visitors hit a match-high .294, but couldn’t keep pace as HPU hit at a blistering .459 mark in the frame, 25-20.
“Overall, I thought each set was a different style and we won each set by showing different strengths,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “The most consistent thing we did this afternoon was side out with the exception of a couple of runs in the second and third sets. I thought our first contact was very consistent and our setters made good decisions, which allowed our hitters to be aggressive. When our hitters had a seam in the block they were aggressive, but when they didn’t, they made good decisions to move the defense and give us a better chance in transition.”
Barnes was solid throughout for the Purple & White racking up five kills in the first, four in the second and six in the third to lead the attack. The Neenah, Wis. product posted a career-best .500 attack percentage recording 15 kills and just one error.
“One of our big focuses through conference season is take each match as they come to us,” Barnes said. “Each opponent we prepare differently, but we treat with the same amount of respect and tonight we were able to execute effectively. Our defense is putting up some incredible balls right now and our setters and hitters are just connecting really well.”
Tylman gave the Panthers two players with double digits in kills with 11 while hitting .526 on the afternoon. Meanwhile, the team’s middle blockers – junior Molly Livingston and junior Jordan Hefner – combined for 15 kills and six blocks in the match.
Orchestrating the offense, senior Carly Jimenez (20 assists, five digs) and sophomore Jenna Smith (22 assists, five digs) dished out 42 assists in the match.
Running the defense, freshman Abby Bottomley posted a match-high 17 digs as HPU earned a 46-44 edge in digs. Similarly, the Purple & White tallied 48 kills compared to just 38 for Radford. All of that combined for a .377 to .187 attack percentage edge for the home squad.
Neither team was able to build momentum early as they split the first 30 points of the match. However, Barnes pounded four kills in the next 11 points to anchor a 7-4 run as HPU built a 22-19 edge. From there, two Radford attack errors and Tylman’s sixth kill of the set gave the Panthers a 25-19 victory.
High Point kept the momentum going in the second set jumping out to a 6-0 lead. Although Radford immediately cut the deficit to three, 6-3, the Purple & White wouldn’t give up their advantage posting a 10-5 run to build a 16-8 edge. The Highlanders couldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way as HPU closed out the set 25-16.
After the break, both teams had stretches of solid play as the score was 19-19 late in the frame. But again Barnes stepped up with two kills as HPU closed the set and match with a 6-1 run to win 25-20.
The Panthers are back on the road next weekend when they travel to Presbyterian on Friday and Gardner-Webb and Saturday.