HPU Volleyball Earns Comeback 3-1 Win at Winthrop

• Senior Haley Barnes racked up 17 kills and 23 digs for her 49th career double-double.
• The Panthers have won 13 straight matches – the longest in the program’s Division I era.
• Juniors Molly Livingston and Katie Tylman combined for 26 kills while both hit over .400.

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Senior Haley Barnes recorded the 49th double-double of her career as the High Point University volleyball team erased a 1-0 deficit to win its 13th straight match at Winthrop in four sets on Saturday.

The Panthers (18-6, 11-0) dropped the first set – their first set loss since Sept. 23 – before storming back to take the next three frames and move keep their perfect record in Big South play.

“A year ago we lose that match and probably in three sets,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “Winthrop was more aggressive in the first set and a half, there were some calls we disagreed with, and it would have been easy to get caught up in feeling that it just wasn’t our night. Instead, the team kept their composure and went to work improving our play individually and as a group. It’s a positive sign of growth and leadership on the court and they should be very proud of their performance to switch gears and make those changes mid game, particularly with the serve and block. It’s definitely a match we will point to because it’s not the last time we’ll be pressed like that this season.”

Barnes paced the offense with 17 kills while hitting .333 and adding three aces. Meanwhile, the outside hitter equaled her career high with 23 digs in the contest. Giving the Purple & White three players in double figures, juniors Molly Livingston (14 kills) and Katie Tylman (12 kills) both hit over .400 on the day.

Leading HPU in digs as the team earned a 73-63 margin, freshman Abby Bottomley racked up 24. On the offensive end, High Point posted one more kill (55-54) with junior Abby Broadstreet chipping in with six kills and two aces.

“I thought we did a really good job of bouncing back after the first set and taking care of the little things,” Broadstreet said. “After the first set we focused on serving tough and our blocking and we did a much better job at executing and getting the job done as a team.”

The Panthers ended the match with a 7.0 to 4.0 margin blocks behind five from junior Jordan Hefner. Likewise, HPU served up nine aces compared to the six from the Eagles.

HPU jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but saw the Eagles post a run to build a 23-19 margin. The Panthers responded with four straight points to even the score at 23-all. However, the Panthers couldn’t complete the comeback as Winthrop snapped the squad’s 26 straight set wins with a 25-23 victory.

Barnes and Livingston made sure the Purple & White opened the second set in style posting five kills as HPU build a 9-3 lead. But Winthrop wouldn’t go quietly fighting to within two on multiple occasions before a Tylman kill closed out a 25-21 win.

Out of the intermission, the Eagles raced out to a 10-7 advantage. This time, the Panthers caught fire posting an 18-7 run to earn a 25-17 triumph.

HPU kept the pressure on in the fourth set as Livingston served up three aces as the visitors built an 8-1 lead. Once again, the Eagles battled back to cut the deficit to two, 22-20, before the Panthers held on taking the final set 25-21.

The Purple & White are back at home on Friday against Campbell and Saturday versus Presbyterian.