Three Finish with Double-Digit Kills as USC Upstate Falls in Conference Opener to High Point

Three Finish with Double-Digit Kills as USC Upstate Falls in Conference Opener to High Point

Box Score (.pdf)

Spartanburg, S.C. – Payton Duncan, Lily Dempsey and Emily Russell all finished with 10 or more kills on Tuesday evening as the USC Upstate volleyball team opened conference play with a 3-1 loss to the High Point Panthers at the G.B. Hodge Center.

USC Upstate falls to 3-11 on the season and 0-1 in Big South play while High Point improves to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in the conference.

The Panthers won the match by scores of 25-17, 25-20, 19-25 and 29-27.


  • Duncan led the Spartans offensively with 12 kills and added seven digs.
  • Dempsey contributed 11 kills and seven digs.
  • Russell tallied 10 kills to go with four total blocks.
  • Madison Haake dished out 41 assists while posting seven digs.
  • Mikenzie Young-Mullins tied her career-high of 12 digs.
  • Molly Livingston led all players with 14 kills for High Point while Jordan Hefner and Katie Tylman each had 13.
  • Jenna Smith and Mackenzi Thornburg combined for 58 assists.
  • Abby Broadstreet and Abby Bottomley both had 12 digs.
  • USC Upstate held a 12.0-5.0 advantage in total team blocks.
  • The match featured 18 ties and nine lead changes.


  • Set One:  The Spartans held an early 8-5 lead as Dempsey connected on a kill. The Panthers answered with a 10-3 run and took a 15-11 lead, forcing USC Upstate into a timeout. The Spartans would get as close as 15-13 two plays later following Duncan's kill and a combination block from Duncan and Russell. Haake and McKenna Kirkpatrick would team up for a block late and cut USC Upstate's deficit down to 20-17. High Point scored the last five points to win 25-17.
  • Set Two:  After the teams traded the first 12 points, the Panthers recorded four of the next five to lead 10-7. The Spartans trimmed away at the lead and trailed 13-12 midway on a bad set. High Point broke the set open with a 7-1 run and went in front 20-13 after a kill. USC Upstate made a late charge courtesy of a 7-2 run and trailed 22-20 on a solo block from Young-Mullins. The Panthers picked up the last three points for the 25-20 victory.
  • Set Three:  The Spartans came back with a 25-19 win and cut their deficit in the match to 2-1. USC Upstate opened on a 10-3 run capped by Russell's service ace. Kirkpatrick and Gloria Ikenegbu gave the Spartans their largest lead of the set at 13-5 on a combination block. High Point would get as close as three points twice with the last coming at 21-18. USC Upstate outscored the Panthers 4-1 after that to win by six following Kirkpatrick's kill.
  • Set Four:  Duncan tied the set early at 6-6 with her kill. The Spartans would then go on a 13-4 run to increase their lead out to 19-10 as Morgan Deaville provided a service ace. Duncan later put USC Upstate ahead 22-14 on her kill. High Point answered with a 10-2 run and tied the set at 24-24. The teams traded the next six points before the Panthers collected the last two to win the set 29-27 and capture the match 3-1.


  • The Spartans remain at home in conference play on Saturday, Sept. 22 when they host Radford at 5 p.m. on ESPN+.

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