• The victory gives HPU 14 conference wins for the first time and clinches at least a share of the Big South title joining High Point’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, which also won their respective regular season Big South crowns.
• With the win, High Point has extended its winning streak to 16 matches, which is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.
• Senior Haley Barnes racked up her eighth double-double of the year with 13 kills and 18 digs on the night.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team rode a double-double from senior Haley Barnes to cruise to a 3-0 sweep of Charleston Southern in the Millis Center on Friday night. The victory gives the Panthers a 16-match winning streak – the longest in the program’s Division I history – and clinches at least a share of the program’s second Big South regular season championship.
The Purple & White (21-6, 14-0) were clinging to a 19-18 lead in the first set when head coach Tom Mendoza called a timeout. The result was a 31-10 run by HPU to close the first set (25-18) and win the second frame (25-10). The Bucs (8-20, 3-11) couldn’t recover after the break falling in the third set 25-18.
By clinching a share of the Big South regular season title, the squad joins the 2008 squad as the two teams to achieve the feat. Likewise, the volleyball squad joins HPU’s women’s soccer, men’s soccer and women’s cross country programs as Big South champions already in 2017-18.
“I thought we started off the match just okay and left a lot of points on the floor by committing nine attack errors in the first set,” Mendoza said. “We tried to focus on cleaning that up for the rest of the night and I think we achieved that late in the first set and then on through the second and third sets. Being able to clinch a share of the conference championship is fantastic and well deserved for our team. It was certainly one of our goals, but not our main goal, so we need to keep getting better as the season goes on and peak in the postseason. But obviously this is a great accomplishment and I’m excited to see what this team can do moving forward.”
Barnes recorded her eighth double-double of the year with 13 kills and 18 digs while hitting .500 and capping off the night with three blocks.
“Charleston Southern is a notoriously scrappy team that plays really good defense,” Barnes said. “Going in we knew that we needed to control our side of the net and maintain our composure through scrappy points and I think we did that tonight. When coach called the timeout, it just allowed us to refocus on not giving away opportunities and taking control of the entire match.”
Behind 18 digs from Barnes and 13 from freshman Abby Bottomley the Panthers earned a 56-43 edge in digs against the conference’s digs leader, CSU. Those totals allowed the Panthers to outhit the Bucs .284 to .039 on the night.
From the middle, junior Molly Livingston and junior Jordan Hefner combined for 16 kills and four blocks in the sweep. Meanwhile, freshman Katie Doering racked up six kills and block.
Joining Barnes on the left side, junior Abby Broadstreet tallied eight kills and five digs to round out HPU five attackers with at least six kills.
Guiding the dynamic offense, sophomore Jenna Smith tallied 27 assists while senior Carly Jimenez notched 14. Smith also had a hand in HPU’s solid defensive play posting 11 digs in the match while adding two aces.
After Barnes’ third kill of the night gave the Panthers a 17-13 edge, the Bucs stormed back to pull within one, 19-18. Mendoza, though, called a timeout as HPU to spark a 6-0 run to give the home team the set, 25-18.
HPU kept the momentum going in the second set hitting .448 registering 14 kills and just one error in the frame. On the defensive end, High Point held CSU to a .000 attack percentage to win the frame 25-10.
Following the intermission, the Purple & White came out and built a 10-4 advantage after back-to-back blocks by Barnes. From there, CSU couldn’t get any closer than three as HPU closed out the match with a 25-18 triumph.
The Panthers return to the Millis Center on Saturday afternoon for their Senior Day match against Winthrop. The first serve will come at 4:00 p.m., but the program will honor seniors Haley Barnes, Carly Jimenez and Amy Pilat prior to the match.