HPU Volleyball Clinches Big South Title with Sweep of Winthrop

• High Point clinched its first ever outright Big South regular season title moving to 15-0 in the conference and 8-0 in eight sweeps in the Millis Center.
• Junior Katie Tylman tallied 15 kills while hitting at a .700 clip and registering two block assists in the match.
• Senior Haley Barnes racked up 10 kills to move into third in Division I kills in HPU’s history with 1,358 kills in the Purple & White.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team claimed its first outright Big South regular season title with a 3-0 sweep of Winthrop in the Millis Center on Saturday evening.

The Panthers (22-6, 15-0) were led by junior Katie Tylman’s 15 kills as they racked up a season-high for a three-set match with 53 kills while posting their best attack percentage of the year (.429). HPU won the first two sets 25-16 and then closed out the Eagles (15-13, 6-8) and the title with a 25-15 win in the third.

“As far as tonight goes I thought it was a really complete match,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “During the timeouts I was just telling our team how fun they are to watch when they’re flying around and playing like that. I thought we played with a lot of energy being able to clinch the conference championship on our home court while sending our seniors out the right way.”

Tylman anchored the offense hitting at a .700 clip while committing just one attack error on the night. Joining Tylman in double figures, senior Haley Barnes and junior Molly Livingston both reached 10 kills on the night.

Barnes’ 10 kills allowed her to move to third in HPU’s Division I history with 1,358 kills in the Purple & White.

Senior Carly Jimenez orchestrated the offense with 28 assists and collected two aces from the service line. Meanwhile, her fellow setter, sophomore Jenna Smith, was credited with 21 assists on the night.

“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Jimenez said of winning the conference title in her final home game. “We have worked really hard this season and to say that we are conference champions when we haven’t won it in so long is awesome. It’s great to go out this way with my teammates, who I love so much, right next to me.”

From the back row, freshman Abby Bottomley led the defense with 18 digs while Barnes added nine and Smith chipped in with six. Overall, HPU tallied a 50-38 margin in digs.

On the other side, HPU’s 53 kills were 24 more than Winthrop’s as the home team outhit its opponents .429 to .170.

Rounding out the offense, junior Jordan Hefner posted seven kills, junior Abby Broadstreet recorded six and freshman Katie Doering notched four.

The Panthers opened up efficient on the offensive end racking up 20 kills and hitting .395 in the first set to earn a 25-16 victory. While the offense stole the show, Bottomley kept Winthrop off the board with eight digs.

In the second frame, the two teams split the first 20 points before Barnes unleashed on a kill to spark a 9-1 run as HPU built a 19-11 advantage. From there, the Panthers closed out its second 25-16 win of the afternoon to take a 2-0 lead.

After the intermission, the Panthers continued their stellar play on offense hitting .645 with 21 kills and just one error en route to a 25-15 win to end the match.

The Panthers wrap up the regular season at Radford on Saturday, Nov. 11 and then will be back in Radford the following weekend for the conference championship.