• Junior Molly Livingston had a hand in five blocks in the third set while posting seven kills and no errors in the match.
• The HPU defense held Gardner-Webb to a -.095 attack percentage on the day the lowest by an opponent this season.
• The Panthers have won eight straight matches and 13 consecutive sets over the last five contests.
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball defense shut down the Gardner-Webb attack en route to a dominant 3-0 sweep in Porter Arena on Saturday evening.
The Panthers (13-6, 6-0) started fast with a 25-16 win in the first set and never let up in the victory over Gardner-Webb (). The squad won the second frame 25-9 before junior Molly Livingston and the HPU block posted six blocks in the 25-12 triumph in the third.
“Yesterday, certain areas of our game were a little sloppy and the team did a great job of cleaning those up tonight,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Our block scored points and our defense not only kept the ball off the floor, but also put us in very good position to transition attack. We still have some things to watch in film and improve, but overall it’s nice to get two road wins. We will look to keep getting better as we gear up for Liberty Tuesday.”
High Point’s 6-0 start in Big South play is the second best in the program’s history behind only the 9-0 start in 2008. Overall, the team has won eight straight matches including the last 13 sets spanning five matches.
Senior Haley Barnes paced the offense with seven of her nine kills coming in the first set. She also added three blocks, three digs and an ace. Meanwhile, Livingston recorded five blocks, seven kills and a .583 attack percentage. The middle blocker has 28 kills in the last three matches without committing an error.
Orchestrating the offense, sophomore Jenna Smith led the way with 14 assists and an ace. Similarly, senior Carly Jimenez chipped in with nine assists and an ace.
“We did a great job at playing a clean match overall and played at a consistent level the whole time,” Smith said. “It was a great bounce-back from some of the hectic situations we put ourselves in last night. Overall it was a great team win.”
The service line continued to be a vital part of the HPU offense racking up eight aces while keeping the Runnin’ Bulldogs without an ace in the match. Those eight aces include junior Rachel Kordonowy’s first ace of her time in the Purple & White.
Along with 10.0 blocks, the Panthers earned a 38-30 advantage in digs while limiting Gardner-Webb to a season-best -.095 attack percentage.
Juniors Jordan Hefner and Katie Tylman and freshman Katie Doering all recorded three blocks on the night. Similarly, Hefner and Doering both posted four kills and Tylman chipped in with two.
Junior Abby Broadstreet (three kills) and redshirt-sophomore Olivia Barr (one) rounded out the 30 kills for the Panthers compared to just 19 from the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
It was all about Barnes in the first set. After resting in the second and third sets last night, the senior stormed out of the gate with seven kills and two solo blocks as the Panthers claimed a 25-16 win.
High Point’s defense held Gardner-Webb down early in the set taking a 13-6 lead. Then Livingston when to the service line and took over. The junior tallied two aces before giving way to Kordonowy who served up an aces of her own in the midst of a 9-0 run, 22-6. From there, the Panthers closed out the frame 25-9.
The Panthers closed out the road trip forcing 12 GWU errors in the final frame winning 25-12. Livingston tallied had a hand in five of HPU’s six blocks in the set.
HPU is back at home on Tuesday for a huge showdown with Liberty at 7 p.m. in the Millis Center.