HPU Volleyball Panthers Win 2018 Big South Championship

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team defeated Radford 3-0, 25-17, 25-17 and 25-22, today (Nov. 18) in the Big South Championship in Asheville, N.C. With the win, the Panthers claim the Big South Regular Season and Tournament titles. HPU has secured an automatic-bid in the NCAA Tournament. High Point is the first Big South team since Coastal Carolina in 2015 to win the Big Regular Season and Tournament Championships.

Senior Molly Livingston was named Big South Championship Most Valuable Player, while senior Abby Broadstreet and freshman Madison Smith took home All-Tournament honors. Livingston logged 20 kills on the tournament, while Smith and Broadstreet had 17 and 16 kills, respectively.

“It feels great to get to the NCAA tournament,” head coach Ryan Meek said. “It is a goal we set at the beginning of the year. There have definitely been some ups and downs. This is a ten-month process for us. We are in January and February lifting weights and training to get to this point. It isn’t just the three months of season we saw. It’s that whole ten-month period of sacrifice on all of our parts. It feels great to get rewarded for that. These girls really set the precedent for what High Point volleyball is and is going to be. It is great to see them go out with, not just an NCAA Tournament, but with two conference championships.”

High Point (21-9) out-hit Radford (21-6) .243-.089. The Panthers recorded 44 kills to the Highlanders’ 29. HPU logged 59 digs and 43 assists, while the Highlanders had 41 digs and 26 assists. Smith and Livingston led the way for the Panthers with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Livingston was tops on the team in hitting percentage with a .421. Defensively, senior Adeline Ellis was the leader with 19 digs.

The Panthers jumped out to an 8-1 lead, but Radford was able to cut the lead to 11-8. HPU then went on an 8-1 run to stretch the lead to 19-9. High Point won the set 25-17. The Purple & White logged 14 kills on a .250 hitting percentage, while the Highlanders recorded nine kills on a .028 hitting percentage, in the set. Smith led HPU with five kills, while Livingston added four kills and a .800 hitting percentage. Senior Adeline Ellis led all players with six digs in the set.

In the second set, HPU led 9-8 before going on a 5-1 run to stretch the lead to 14-9. Radford fought back to cut the score to 16-15, but High Point reeled off seven-straight points to take a 23-15 lead. The Purple & White took the set 25-17. HPU notched 16 kills on a .423 hitting percentage, while Radford had eight kills on a .154 hitting percentage. High Point had 16 assists and 14 digs, compared to Radford’s seven assists and five digs. Smith led the way for the Panthers with five kills, while Broadstreet and senior Jordan Hefner added three kills apiece in the second set.

High Point trailed 9-5, but fought back to tie the third set at 11. HPU then went on a 5-1 run to take a 16-12 lead. Radford responded with a 3-0 run of its own to cut the score to 16-15. The teams traded runs until HPU won the set 25-22. The Panthers had 14 kills on a .151 hitting percentage, while Radford logged 12 kills on a .100 hitting percentage in the set. HPU recorded 30 digs in the set. Livingston led HPU with four kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Defensively, Ellis led the way with 11 of her match-high 19 digs in the set.

The Panthers will wait for the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. to be seeded in the NCAA Tournament.