Site: Hampton, Va. (Holland Hall)
Score: High Point 3, Hampton 0 (25-18, 27-25, 25-15)
Records: HPU: 19-10 (11-1 Big South), HU: 7-16 (2-10 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Friday, Nov. 15 — vs. Charleston Southern (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.
HAMPTON, Va. – Sophomore Gabrielle Idlebird had a huge match for the High Point University volleyball team on Saturday (Nov. 9), leading the team with 13 kills and five block assists in the Panthers’ three-set victory over Hampton University, giving HPU its second sweep of the weekend.
With High Point’s results this weekend and other results around the conference, the Purple and White have secured at least the No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament in two weeks. The win also gives Panther head coach Ryan Meek the 150th victory of his career.
“I thought we had a great weekend,” Meek said. “To get two sweeps on the road is tough and I feel like we’re starting to come together at the right time. I loved our fight at the end of the second set but we also need to avoid digging ourselves that hole in the future. We’re looking forward to being back at Millis next weekend to wrap up the regular season and celebrate ‘Jenna Day’.”
In that second set, the Panthers found themselves facing three set points for the Lady Pirates at 21-24. High Point actually built a good lead early in the set, 7-3, but watched it slip to a one-point contest at 12-11 before Hampton eventually took the lead 18-15. The hosts went on another four-point run to get up to 22 points before working its way up to 24-21. A pair of Lady Pirate attack errors and a kill from freshman Lucy Dumford knotted it up at 24. Hampton won the next point before High Point took the last three, capped off with a service ace from senior Jenna Smith.
Hampton took the first point of the match, but it was the only time the Lady Pirates led in the opening set. The Panthers scored the next five of the match, with two kills from freshman Annie Sullivan, one from Idlebird, and a block by Idlebird and Dumford. Hampton errors gave the Purple and White three of the next four points as well, giving HPU an 8-2 advantage early on. The Lady Pirates tried to claw back into the match but couldn’t string a run together, and three points from a Sullivan kill, a service ace from junior Abby Bottomley and a block from Idlebird and Dumford got High Point on the board with the first set.
The third set was even more lopsided in the Panthers’ favor, taking the first point on a Hampton service error and only losing the lead once when the hosts tied it up on the next point. Another ace from Smith as part of a three-point run expanded the lead. The big blow in the set came a few points later when four straight kills, from four different players, made it a six-point set at 13-7. High Point’s lead never slipped below five points after that point, and a 6-1 run sealed the deal for the Panthers, capped off by Idlebird’s 13th kill and a pair of kills from freshman Sopheea Mink.
HPU returns home to close out the regular season with a pair of matches at the Millis Center next weekend. Charleston Southern comes to town on Friday (Nov. 15) for a 7 p.m. match and ‘Flashback Friday’ promotion. Saturday’s (Nov. 16) 2 p.m. match against Presbyterian will be High Point’s ‘Jenna Day’, celebrating the program’s two seniors, Smith, and Jenna Weidner.