Balance Keys High Point Volleyball’s 3-0 Sweep of Campbell

• Sophomore Jenna Smith paced the Panthers with 19 assists and eight digs on the night while serving during a crucial 13-1 run in the second set.
• Junior Molly Livingston led a balanced attack with nine kills to go with five blocks.
• High Point has won 14 matches in a row, which is the longest winning streak in the program’s Division I era.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team kept its momentum after five days off sweeping Campbell to extend its winning streak to 14 matches on Friday night in the Millis Center.

The Panthers (19-6, 12-0) used large runs in the first and second sets to take 25-20 and 25-19 wins. Then after the intermission, HPU continued rolling snapping the Camels’ (16-9, 6-5) six-match winning streak with a 25-18 triumph in the third.

“Overall we played a very good and consistent match,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “I thought our block picked up as the match went along as well as our defense. We played a little soft at the start, but later in the match we kept more of those balls off the ground and gave ourselves opportunities in transition. We did some of that in the first set, but weren’t getting kills. However, as the match went on the balls started to fall.”

After HPU fell behind in the second set, sophomore Jenna Smith served six points of HPU’s 13-1 run to regain control of the match. Playing in HPU’ annual Pink Game, the Florida product dished out 19 assists to go with eight digs and an ace.

“Playing in front of a big crowd and in the pink jerseys really bring excitement to the gym and we really feed off of that,” Smith said of HPU’s pink-clad and energetic fans. “Having that many options to set just gives me so much confidence knowing anyone I set can put the ball away, which allows us to run a lot of different plays.”

Leading the Panthers’ balanced attack that featured six players with at least three kills, junior Molly Livingston plastered nine kills while adding five blocks and five digs. Joining Livingston in the middle, junior Jordan Hefner chipped in with six kills, two blocks and two digs.

From the right side Katie Doering tied her career high with eight kills without committing an error. The freshman assisted on four blocks on the night, which also tied her career high.

The Camels tallied more digs (52-46) than HPU despite 15 from freshman Abby Bottomley and four from senior Amy Pilat.

Similarly, Campbell’s 39 kills were one more than the Panthers tallied on the night. Senior Haley Barnes and junior Abby Broadstreet combined for 11 kills and nine digs on the left side of the HPU attack.

Senior Carly Jimenez racked up 13 assists and along with Smith allowed the High Point attack to commit just nine errors compared to Campbell’s 21 in the match.

Overall, the Panthers outhit their visitors .276 to .162 in the victory while earning a 5-1 edge in aces and 8-6 margin in blocks.

Both defenses held the opposing offenses down early at neither team hit over .170 while being tied at 14-all. However, Tylman and Livingston sparked HPU with a pair of kills apiece as HPU closed the frame on an 11-6 run to win 25-20.

After Campbell built a 10-7 advantage, Smith helped served the Panthers on a 13-1 run to take a 20-11 lead. The Camels, though, fought to within five before freshman Ali Thanhauser ended the frame with a kill, 25-19.

The Panthers kept the pressure on coming out of the break with a 9-3 run. However, Campbell didn’t lie down and cut the deficit to two at 19-17. But HPU had the answer as Doering turned the tide with a kill as HPU allowed just one more Camel point to win the set 25-18.

High Point is right back out on the Millis Center floor tomorrow afternoon to host Presbyterian at 2 p.m.