HPU volleyball outlasts Charleston Southern
The High Point University volleyball team beat Charleston Southern in five sets on Friday at the Millis Center. Junior Chelsea Davis recorded her 1,000th career kill and sophomore Annemarie Chin tallied her 1,000th career dig in the 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-15, 30-32, 15-10) victory.
Senior Maddie Simpson dished out a career-high 72 assists to put four Panthers in double-digit kills led by Davis with 20. Davis also had 17 digs and three blocks. Freshman Megan Kennedy had a career-high 19 kills and 12 digs. Junior Kristin Heldt and redshirt-freshman Savannah Angel also tallied double-figure kills.
“It was incredible to watch our team pull together and get the tough win tonight,” said head coach Jason Oliver. “We showed the resolve and determination that it takes to win a championship. I am so proud of the accomplishments of Chelsea and Annemarie. They put so much work in to making our program successful and they deserve to enjoy those milestones.”
High Point had 81 kills and hit .256 in the match while Charleston Southern hit .168 with 53 kills. The Panthers had 106 digs to CSU’s 75.
With High Point trailing in the first set, Davis put down a kill to cut Charleston Southern’s lead to 21-19. It was the 1,000th kill of her career, making her the eighth player in school history to reach the mark. Her kill sparked a rally for the Panthers, who scored the final seven points of the frame to win 25-21.
The Buccaneers came back to tie the match with a 25-18 win in set two. CSU scored the final four points of the frame, three on HPU errors, to even the match.
High Point hit .400 and played great team defense in the third set, coming up with 26 digs to win the frame 25-15. Annemarie Chin had 10 digs in the set, including the 1,000th of her career. She is the ninth player at High Point to reach the milestone and the second fastest. Annemarie Chin took 59 career matches to get her 1,000th dig while Julie Hershkowitz did it in her 57th career match in 2008. Hershkowitz is HPU’s all-time digs leader with 2,416.
Charleston Southern fought off two match points and pushed the score all the way to 32-30 to win set four and force a fifth set. Erin Lavenice had a kill and a block for the final two points for CSU.
High Point trailed Charleston Southern 8-6 halfway through the fifth set. Simpson pushed a kill to an empty corner to get the Panthers within one, 9-10, and send junior Chelsea Blanford to the service line. Blanford led High Point on a seven-point run to win the fifth set 15-10. Davis had the final four kills of the match.
Simpson finished the match with 72 kills, topping her career high of 61 set at Winthrop on Sept. 24, 2010. She also had 18 digs in the win. Heldt added 17 kills and 10 digs and Angel had 14 kills and three blocks. Sophomore Wavie Chin added 10 digs.
HPU improves to 14-14 on the season and 8-5 in Big South play. Charleston Southern stands at 6-23 overall and 0-13 in league play.
The Panthers will conclude the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Coastal Carolina. Seniors Maddie Simpson and Michelle Chakirelis will be recognized before the match.