Comebacks Key HPU Volleyball¹s 3-0 Victory at Presbyterian

• Junior Molly Livingston racked up 13 kills without an error to hit .565 on the night.
• Seven Panthers recorded at least four kills in the match.
• High Point moved to 5-0 in Big South action for just the second time posting back-to-back late comebacks in the second and third sets.

CLINTON, S.C. – Despite falling behind in the second and third sets, the High Point University volleyball registered two comebacks to earn a sweep at Presbyterian on Friday night in the Templeton Center.

The Panthers (12-6, 5-0) cruised to a 25-16 win in the first set, but the Blue Hose (4-14, 1-4) wouldn’t make the rest of the night easy. PC built a six-point edge in the second and a five-point advantage in the third only to see the Purple & White storm back for 28-26 and 25-23 wins.

“I liked the way the team competed late in each set,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “There were stretches that we got away from doing the little things that we pride ourselves in and that’s a good lesson for us as we will look to improve in those areas tomorrow. Overall, it’s nice to come away with a road win in three sets and for our team to get some valuable experience.”

Junior Molly Livingston was tantalizingly efficient on the night crushing 13 kills on 23 attempts without an error (.565). Similarly, junior Katie Tylman registered 11 kills while hitting at a .444 clip on the night.

“Our serve receive did a good job of executing their passes and the setters did a great job feeding the middles and right-sides in system,” Livingston said. “Overall, our game wasn’t as well-executed as we hoped it would be, but we did a nice job of making plays when we needed them.”

All together, the Panthers hit .283 as seven players recorded at least four kills. Dishing out the assists, senior Carly Jimenez posted 22 assists as sophomore Jenna Smith added 19 in the victory.

The Purple & White join the 2008 squad as the only two HPU teams to begin Big South play 5-0 and have won seven straight matches and 11 consecutive sets.

Defensively, both teams tallied 42 digs as freshman Abby Bottomley led HPU with 12 while junior Abby Broadstreet chipped in with eight.

Freshman Katie Doering (six kills), Broadstreet (five), senior Haley Barnes (four) and junior Jordan Hefner (four) all recorded multiple kills while freshman Ali Thanhauser notched the first kill of her career.

Meanwhile, Broadstreet served up two aces to keep her league lead in Big South play as HPU earned a 4-3 edge at the service line. Likewise, the Panthers outhit PC .283 to .196 with both teams tallying five blocks.

The right-sides carried the attack early as both Doering and Tylman went 3-for-3 on the attack. As a team, the Panthers used three different 4-0 runs and hit .500 in the frame to pull away for a 25-17 triumph.

In the second set, it was the Blue Hose’s attack that got it going early building a 19-13 lead. However, four kills by Tylman anchored a 10-2 run as HPU regained the lead, 23-21. From there, PC fought off three set-point opportunities before an Ellis kill was followed immediately by a block from Tylman and Hefner to end the set 28-26.

Like the second frame, Presbyterian was able to built a 21-16 advantage by forcing six HPU attack errors. But HPU had a little more magic up its sleeve after the second-set comeback. This time it was the defense forcing five PC errors down the stretch as a 9-2 run allowed the Purple & White to close out a 25-23 victory.

The Panthers remain on the road as they play at Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 5 p.m.