• Freshman Madison Smith recorded a season-high nine kills with a .368 hitting percentage
• Sophomore Abby Bottomley has tallied back-to-back 20-plus dig contests, posting 23 against Michigan
• The Panthers and Wolverines were evenly matched and had 17 ties in the first set
AUBURN, Ala. — The High Point University volleyball team dropped an evenly-matched contest to Michigan, 25-23, 25-22 and 25-22, Saturday afternoon (Aug. 25) at the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, Ala.
The Panthers (0-2) were led by senior Katie Tylman, who hit .348 with 10 kills, and freshman Madison Smith, who added nine kills on a .368 hitting percentage. In the back row, sophomore Abby Bottomley led HPU with 23 digs, while at the net, senior Molly Livingston recorded five blocks.
Michigan (1-0) hit .252 compared to HPU’s .200, and held small advantages in digs, 60-53, and blocks, 10-8.
“Another great learning opportunity for us,” HPU head coach Ryan Meek said. “I thought we were far more aggressive today and gave ourselves opportunities against a top Big Ten program. There’s no doubt that playing these matches will benefit us in the long run and I know our whole team is excited to get back in the gym Monday. We just need to keep working to limit errors and we can play at any level.”
The first set saw 17 ties, the last being at 20-20, but Michigan scored four of the next five to take a 24-21 lead. The Panthers fought off two set points with a kill from Tylman and a block from seniors Adeline Ellis and Jordan Hefner before the Wolverines won the next point out of a timeout to win the set, 25-23.
HPU led the second set, 21-19, but Michigan rattled off a 6-1 run to close out the frame, 25-22.
In the third frame, the Panthers scored three in a row to tie the set at 20, but Michigan five of the next seven to finish off the match.After the match, Tylman and Bottomley were named to the all-tournament team.
High Point returns to action Aug. 30-31 for a tournament at Kennesaw State. The Panthers play the host Owls on Thursday at 6 p.m. and then face Jacksonville on Friday at 4 p.m.