HPU Volleyball Wins 10th Straight with Sweep of UNC Asheville

• The Panthers have won 10 straight matches – the second longest streak in the program’s Division I era – and are 8-0 in the Big South for the second time (2008).
• High Point has claimed six straight sweeps and has the nation’s longest set winning streak claiming 20 consecutive frames.
• Junior Molly Livingston did it all racking up 12 kills without an error while adding four digs, two blocks and two aces.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team earned its 10th straight win and sixth consecutive sweep with a 3-0 victory against a scrappy UNC Asheville squad on Saturday in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (15-6, 8-0) posted their lowest attack percentage during its winning streak. However, HPU’s defense and timely attacks were enough to sweep the Bulldogs (8-11, 4-4) to extend its national-best set winning streak to 20. HPU’s 10-match winning streak equals the 2007 squad for the second longest since High Point moved to Division I.

“It was nice to get a win in three sets,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “When we executed defensively and were aggressive with our attack we were rewarded, but I think we can be more consistent in both of those areas going forward. I was glad to see our block numbers because it’s been an area that we’ve been working on and hopefully we can continue trending in this direction. We have a busy week coming up with three matches, so we will try to find areas we can improve and gear up for Tuesday.”

Leading the way, junior Molly Livingston continued to play at a ridiculous level pounding 12 kills compared to zero errors. During HPU’s six straight sweeps, the Sun Prairie, Wis. product has 65 kills and just two errors. For good measure, the middle added four digs, two blocks and two aces on the afternoon.

From the back row, freshman Abby Bottomley – the Big South’s leader in digs – collected 19 on the day as HPU earned a 55-49 edge in digs.

“Today was a really good match because everyone had to adjust well since UNC Asheville plays a little different style than what we are used to,” Bottomley said. “Everyone played hard and worked together for another win that kept our conference winning streak going.”

Senior Haley Barnes racked up 12 kills, 10 digs, three aces and two blocks. Meanwhile, junior Katie Tylman leveled five kills as juniors Abby Broadstreet and Katie Tylman added four apiece. Rounding out the attack, freshman Katie Doering recorded three kills.

High Point’s blocks dominated at times as Hefner led the way with five total blocks. Similarly, Tylman, Barnes, Livingston and Doering all added two on the day.

UNC Asheville entered the match as the Big South’s top serving team, but failed to earn an ace while committing eight service errors. On the other end, the Panthers tallied five aces and just four errors en route to the victory.

Despite the offensive struggles, the Purple & White garnered a .195 to .138 edge in attack percentage and posted 40 kills to UNC Asheville’s 38.

Although the Purple & White offense only mustered nine kills in the frame, the squad’s defense posted five blocks and forced 11 Bulldog attack errors in the first set. As a result, the visitors hit just .109 in the frame and fell 25-20 to HPU.

In the second set, Livingston posted two kills and an ace to give High Point a 6-3 edge. However, UNC Asheville claimed the next point to pull within two. For the remainder of the set neither team led by more than two as a Doering kill and a Bulldog error allowed HPU to break a 23-all tie and win 25-23.

After the break, UNC Asheville built a three-point lead, 12-9. However, Bottomley kept it from being worse racking up eight digs in the set before Livingston and Barnes led the comeback combining for seven kill as HPU closed the match with a 25-18 victory.

The Panthers return to the Millis Center floor to host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.