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Liberty Falls To High Point
Liberty fell to High Point 3-1 (25-30, 30-21, 24-30, 27-30) this evening in Big South volleyball action from the Millis Athletic Center.
The win by the Panthers ended their three-match losing skid and upped their season total to 14-13 overall and 4-6 in Big South play. The victory also gave HPU their first ever regular season sweep of Liberty (8-16, 4-6 Big South) and kept High Point in the mix to earn one of the four hosting assignments in the opening round of the league tournament in November.
Freshman Ashley Mellott led the way for HPU finishing with a career-high 20 kills in the win. The Corbett, Ore., native also paced the team with a stellar .500 hitting performance that included just three hitting errors in 34 attempts. Sophomore Jamie Kaufman (13), senior Michelle Feiser (11) and Lindsay Raus (11) also totaled double-figure kills on the night. Feiser and Kaufman both finished with double-double performances as Feiser paired a team-high 33 assists with her kills and Kaufman tacked on 11 digs.
Mary Alice Pike finished with 14 kills to lead a trio of Lady Flame attackers in double digits. She was joined by teammates Rachel Denton (12) and Autum Poorman (10), while Poorman also hit a match-high .625. Lara Bartolomeo posted a match-high 52 assists.
HPU libero anchored a solid Panther defensive performance finishing with 18 digs. Whitney Kaltenegger chipped in 10 digs for the victory. Liberty's back row was led by 14 digs by Jessica Nelson.
Both teams came out of the blocks clicking on offense as HPU finished game one hitting at a .562 clip and LU tallied a .429 performance. The difference in the frame was some timely hitting by the Panthers along with aggressive serving that kept the Lady Flames a bit off balance. High Point led 21-16 midway through the opening game only to see Liberty close the margin to a single point at 25-24. HPU regrouped and closed out the match with a 5-1 surge.
The Lady Flames grabbed the momentum early in game two pushing a two-point advantage (10-8) to seven points (17-10) before evening the match with a comfortable 30-21 victory. Liberty maintained their hot offensive play hitting .390 while poor passing an several hitting miscues cooled the Panthers down to just a .156 showing.
The Panthers seemed to regain the momentum midway through the third stanza as Stouffer and Kaltenegger sparked HPU from the service line in a 9-3 run that pushed High Point in front 20-13. The Lady Flames battled back to pull to within three but could get no closer as High Point closed out the frame by scoring the final three points.
The match seemed headed for a fifth game as Liberty jumped out to a quick 5-1 advantage and extended their margin to seven at 12-5. High Point continued to chip away at the deficit and finally grabbed a lead at 18-17. After swapping points for several rotations, HPU opened up a slight edge and never looked back earning the 30-27 win.
The Lady Flames will look to end their three-match skid as they take on the Eagles of Winthrop tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Winthrop Coliseum.