ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Christine Lakatos had 17 kills, while Rachel Wells posted a career-high 36 digs as UNC Asheville pulled out a hard-fought 3-1 Big South Conference victory over High Point Friday night at Justice Center. Asheville won the match, 25-23, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23.
The Bulldogs trailed 23-20 in the fourth set but scored the final five points to put out the set and victory, 25-23.
Asheville (15-10, 5-4 BSC) remained perfect at home this season with a 7-0 record. The Panthers fell to 11-13 on the year and 5-4 in league play.
High Point was led by Chelsea Davis with a game-high 22 kills. Kristin Heldt finished with 13 kills. Katie Vincent contributed eight kills and seven blocks. Annemarie Chin registered a team-high 20 digs.
Meredith Foster added six blocks, five in the fourth set. Setter Katie Davis contributed 37 assists and a season-high six kills.
“This was a great win against a very good High Point team,” stated Bulldog coach Frederico Santos. “I’m really proud of the way we battled and fought and found a way to get a big victory. We had contributions from everyone tonight.
“What really pleased me tonight was that we made big plays at crucial times,” added Santos. “When we had to make a play, we got a kill, a block or a dig.
“We don’t have much time to enjoy this win as we have a very tough match against Campbell tomorrow afternoon.” Santos also said.
Asheville led 2-1, but High Point seemed to have control of the fourth set. The Panthers used the hitting of Davis and Heldt to lead for most of the set. High Point led 18-14 before Asheville crept to 19-17. The Bulldogs were with 21-20 before the visitors got a kill from Vincent and a block from her to push the lead to 23-20.
Moore came back with a kill to cut the lead to 23-21. An attack error cut the lead to 23-22 before another kill from Moore tied the set at 23-23.
A long rally ensued before Moore and Lakatos teamed up for a block to put Asheville at match point, 24-23.
Another long rally ensued with each team digging some tough balls out. Davis had a chance to tie the set but her ball just went long, giving the Bulldogs the dramatic win.
The Bulldogs won the first set 25-23 in a closely-contested set. Neither team led by more than three points and there were 13 ties. Lakatos led the Bulldogs with five kills, while three other players contributed two each. Davis had six kills for the visitors. High Point hurt itself with five service errors.
Davis led a 4-1 run late in the set to give the Panthers a 20-17 lead. The junior had three kills in the run. The Bulldogs responded as Moore’s serving helped Asheville score five straight points to grab a 22-20 lead. The teams exchanged points until a Panther attack error gave the Bulldogs the 25-23 first set win.
In the second set, High Point rallied in the middle of the set. Trailing 17-14, the Panthers went on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good at 21-17. Davis and Heldt combined for five kills in the run.
The Bulldogs rallied behind Lakatos and Moore to cut the lead to one twice but a kill from Davis give the visitors a 25-23 win and tied the match at 1-1 heading into intermission.
Asheville controlled play in the third set. Moore served seven straight points to allow the Bulldogs to vault to a 10-2 lead. The home team led 15-5 only to see HPU make a run and close to 19-14. But the Bulldogs would score the final six points of the set as they got two block solos from Meredith Foster and two more kills from Lakatos to win 25-14.
Both teams play key Big South Conference matches on Saturday. Asheville hosts Campbell at Justice Center starting at 4 p.m., while High Point visits Gardner-Webb at 5 p.m.