Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: Presbyterian 3, High Point 0 (26-24, 25-16, 25-16)
Records: HPU: 20-11 (12-2 Big South), PC: 14-14 (8-6 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, Nov. 23 — vs. TBD at Big South Semifinal (Rock Hill, S.C.) 7 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Seniors Jenna Smith and Jenna Weidner were honored prior to High Point University volleyball’s match against Presbyterian on Saturday (Nov. 16) afternoon, a three-set loss for HPU. It was the eighth time the Panthers have fallen in straight sets this year, and the second time in Big South play.
“First of all, Presbyterian deserves all the credit for their win today,” head coach Ryan Meek said following the loss. “They were a step ahead of us at every opportunity and played fantastic. We did not show up with the energy level necessary to win the match and that’s what happens. We talk about taking care of our own front yard and we did not do that today.”
The teams stayed even throughout much of the opening set, with the score tied eight different times with four lead changes throughout it. Presbyterian opened a substantial lead off a 9-0 run, going up 17-9. The teams then traded four-point swings, keeping it an eight-point affair, 21-13. After a few more sideouts PC needed only one more point to take the set, with seven chances to do so, up 24-17. High Point battled back, and won seven straight, thanks to five Blue Hose errors. However, the comeback couldn’t be completed, with Presbyterian taking the next two points to win the set, 26-24.
Both the second and third sets were controlled by PC, winning both by a score of 25-16. The visitors jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the middle frame and never let the lead dip below four, leading by as many as nine in the set. HPU led early in the third set, taking a three-point lead on a service run from Weidner, capped off by her third service ace of the day. The lead didn’t last long as the Blue Hose won the next five points to retake the lead, which they never lost. A six-point run pushed the lead to seven points, 17-10 and after 11 straight sideouts, Presbyterian won three in a row to take the set and the match.
Smith and Weidner leave as one of the most decorated classes in program history. After today’s match, the Jennas have a career record of 88-39 and 53-9 in the Big South, the most conference wins of any class since High Point joined Division I in 1999. They helped the Panthers win back-to-back Big South regular-season championships in 2017 and 2018 and Big South tournament championships in 2016 and 2018, with the chance to make it three next weekend. The Jennas have played in the NCAA Tournament all three years, helping High Point take a set in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history when the Panthers played Purdue in 2017.
High Point finishes the year with a 12-2 mark in conference play and as the No. 2 seed in the Big South Tournament. HPU’s next match will be the semifinals of the Big South Tournament, next Saturday (Nov. 23) at 7 p.m. in Rock Hill, S.C. The Panthers will play the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 matchup, final four seeds of the tournament still to be decided on the final day of conference play.