Hefner Leads HPU Volleyball Panthers to a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team defeated Gardner-Webb 3-1, 21-25, 25-9, 25-20 and 25-18, Saturday (Nov. 10) in Boiling Springs, N.C. With the win, the Panthers take home the Big South Regular Season Championship outright.

“I felt like we faced adversity for the first time in a while this weekend,” head coach Ryan Meek said. “While we got ourselves in a hole in the first set today, I thought we did a great job changing our mindset and figuring out how to get back into the match. We made adjustments and played High Point volleyball from about the last half of the first set through the match. Winning any conference championship is hard and we were able to clinch the Regular Season Championship tonight, which I am extremely proud of. Now, we need to get our rest and prepare ourselves for the Big South Conference Tournament next weekend.”

High Point (19-9, 14-2) out hit Gardner-Webb (7-22, 1-15) .282-.078. The Panthers had 57 kills and nine blocks, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs recorded 31 kills and four blocks. HPU had a slight edge in service aces 9-8. Senior Jordan Hefner led the way for HPU with a career-high 19 kills on a .600 hitting percentage. She also logged five total blocks (two solo and three assists). Seniors Katie Tylman and Molly Livingston also helped the Panthers control play at the net with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore Abby Bottomley recorded a match-high 20 digs.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-12 lead in the first set, but the Panthers cut the lead to 22-20 after an 8-1 run. Gardner-Webb responded and ended the set 25-21. The Panthers logged 13 kills on a .194 hitting percentage compared to GWU’s nine kills on a .167 hitting percentage.

HPU jumped out to a 10-4 lead over Gardner-Webb in the second set before reeling off nine straight points to push the lead to 19-4. High Point won the set 25-9. The Panthers logged 16 kills on a .444 hitting percentage, while the Runnin’ Bulldogs had five kills on a .045 hitting percentage.

High Point and Gardner-Webb were tied 19-19 in the third set when HPU went on a 4-0 run. The Panthers finished the set 25-20. The Panthers had 14 kills on a .200 compared to the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ eight kills on a .053 hitting percentage.

The Panthers jumped out to 16-11 lead, but Gardner-Webb responded with a 3-0 run to cut the score to 16-14. High Point then went on a 6-1 run to extend its lead to 22-15. The Panthers won the set 25-18. HPU notched 14 kills while hitting .346 compared to GWU’s nine kills and .000 hitting percentage.

Junior Jenna Smith had a match-high 28 assists for HPU.

Up next, the Panthers will travel to Asheville, N.C. for the Big South Tournament. They will play the winner of the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m.