HPU Volleyball Falls to No. 2 Radford in the Big South Title, 3-1

• For the third straight match, freshman Katie Doering recorded a new career high in kills racking up 12 on the day.
• Senior Haley Barnes notched a double-double registering 13 kills and 17 digs in the match.
• The setback snaps High Point’s program-record 19-match winning streak.

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University volleyball team built a first-set lead, but Radford stormed back to take the set and carried the momentum throughout the match taking the contest, 3-1, on Sunday in the Dedmon Center.

The top-seeded Panthers (24-7) used an 8-0 run to take a 20-13 advantage in the first set, but the Highlanders (25-4) answered with a run to steal the set 25-23. The home team kept the momentum going in the second winning 25-18 before HPU bounced back to win the third 26-24. However, the Purple & White couldn’t extend the match in the fourth falling 25-17.

“Honestly, I didn’t think we played all that well yesterday so I was hoping we would improve on some of the things we didn’t do while continuing to block well,” head coach Tom Mendoza said. “But it kind of went the other way tonight because our block wasn’t very good. We have to credit Radford because they looked comfortable and played as well as I’ve seen them play all year. A lot of it was things we could’ve done better and we saw the result of losing some of our core principles.”

In her final Big South match, senior Haley Barnes racked up a double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs on the evening. Meanwhile, freshman Katie Doering notched her career high for the third straight match with 12 kills.

From the back row, freshman Abby Bottomley tallied a team-high 18 digs as the Highlanders obtained a 67-60 edge in digs.

HPU’s two all-tournament selections sophomore Jenna Smith (28 assists, five digs) and senior Carly Jimenez (19 assists, five digs) combined for 47 assists.

In the middle, junior Molly Livingston posted nine kills and junior Jordan Hefner added seven. Rounding out the attack, junior Katie Tylman recorded seven kills and junior Abby Broadsteet chipped in with six kills in the contest.

Overall, Radford outhit the Panthers .327 to .218 in the contest. HPU out-served the Highlanders with eight aces compared to five from Highlanders.

After a seesaw start that saw the teams tied at 13-all midway through the opening frame, HPU inserted Pilat into the lineup to serve. The senior, who missed the 2016 Big South Championship due to injury, responded serving up an 8-0 run featuring three aces to give HPU a 20-13 lead.

However, the Highlanders stormed back taking 12 of the next 14 points to give Radford a 1-0 lead with a 25-23 win.

Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, Radford kept up the pace hitting .421 en route to taking the set 25-18.

In the third frame, neither team built a lead larger than two throughout the whole set as the two squads were tied 24-24. Barnes, then, gave HPU a lead with her 10th kill before Tylman closed the 26-24 win for the Panthers.

Once again, the score was knotted at 13-all before a 4-0 run from the home team gave Radford control. From there, HPU couldn’t get any closer than three as the Highlanders wrapped up the match with a 25-17 triumph.

The Purple & White await their postseason fate with the Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 9:00 p.m. on ESPNU.