HPU Volleybally Panthers Sweep UNC Asheville to Advance to Big South Championship

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team defeated UNC Asheville 3-0, 25-17, 25-20 and 25-10, today (Nov. 17) in the Big South Championship semifinals in Asheville, N.C. With the win, HPU moves on to the Big South Championship where they await the winner of No. 2 Radford and No. 3 Winthrop. The match is set for 4 p.m. tomorrow (Nov. 18) in the Justice Center in Asheville, N.C.

“We’ve been talking all week about being ahead of the play, and, I thought, we did a great job of that tonight,” head coach Ryan Meek said. “Asheville has two all-conference kids, and we held them to five kills combined. Together those kids are averaging that about each set so to be able to take them out of the match was huge for us. We were really talking about how important our serving and how important ball control is. I thought, we were just ahead of the play all night. We did a great job of recognizing where kids were and what plays were coming. We were able to stop that because we knew what was coming at us.”

High Point out-hit UNC Asheville .316-.065 and logged 46 kills to the Bulldogs’ 18. HPU recorded 42 digs and 40 assists, while UNC Asheville had 26 digs and 16 assists. Seniors Jordan Hefner and Molly Livingston were the leaders for the Panthers with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. They both finished with a .562 hitting percentage for the match. Defensively, sophomore Abby Bottomley led the way for the Panthers with a match-high 15 digs.

The Panthers led 3-1 before reeling off five straight points to take an 8-1 lead. The Bulldogs fought back to cut the score to 14-9 before HPU went on another 5-0 run to take a 19-9 lead. High Point won the set 25-17. The Purple & White out-hit UNC Asheville .310-.091 and logged 16 kills to Asheville’s six. The Panthers logged 14 assists and 12 digs, while the Bulldogs had six in each category. Livingston led the way with four kills on a 1.000 hitting percentage. Hefner, senior Abby Broadstreet and freshman Madison Smith added three kills each in the set.

In the second set, the score was tied at 18 before HPU went on a 7-2 run to finish the set 25-20. The Panthers recorded 13 kills on a .146 hitting percentage compared to UNC Asheville’s six kills on a .033 hitting percentage. HPU also logged 17 digs and 11 assists, while the Bulldogs notched 13 digs and four assists. Hefner and Livingston led the way for the Panthers with three kills apiece, while Broadstreet had the highest hitting percentage at .333.

High Point controlled the third set throughout. HPU jumped out to a 16-5 lead and won the set 25-10. The Panthers out-hit the Bulldogs .571-.080 and recorded 17 kills to their six. The Purple & White had 15 assists and 13 digs compared to UNC Asheville’s six assists and seven digs. Hefner and senior Katie Tylman led the way for the Panthes with five and four kills, respectively. Hefner was tops on the team with a 1.000 hitting percentage in the set.

Big South Championship Preview

The Panthers beat Radford 3-0 twice this season, while dropping both matches with Winthrop 3-0. HPU fell to Radford 3-1 in the 2017 Big South Championship.