HPU Volleyball Panthers Record 13 Aces in Sweep of Presbyterian

Site: Clinton, S.C. (Templeton Center)
Score: High Point 3, Presbyterian 0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15)
Records: HPU 2-0 (2-0 Big South), PC 0-2 (0-2 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Thursday, February 18, 2021 — at UNC Asheville (Asheville, N.C.) 4 p.m.

CLINTON, S.C. – The High Point University volleyball team completed the weekend sweep of Presbyterian College with a victory in straight sets Friday afternoon (Feb. 5).

The Panthers had a strong performance from behind the baseline, totaling 13 service aces in the match, tied for the third-most in a single match in program history since the NCAA switched to the current 25-point scoring method in 2008, and just one off the team record of 14 in that stretch.

Defensive specialists Macy Miller and Abby Bottomley were integral to HPU’s success in serving, with Miller serving up a team-high four aces and Bottomley adding three, along with 15 digs to be the only member of the Purple and White in double digits for digs.

“We’ve seen how difficult it can be in other sports and other conferences to beat the same team twice on consecutive nights,” head coach Ryan Meek said after the match. “To get a sweep on the road at any time, but especially back-to-back, is a signal that this team can be special.”

High Point’s defense also played a key role in the win, forcing Presbyterian to hit negative in each set to finish the match with a hitting percentage of -0.044.

“Our offense carried us last night and we challenged the team to step up the floor defense and our blocking presence tonight,” Meek continued on his team’s gameplan. “We were able to hold a very solid team negative for an entire match, which doesn’t happen often. I’m excited to see what we can develop into as a team once all parts start clicking together.”

Seven Panthers registered multiple kills, led by Gabrielle Idlebird with seven to go with her three block assists. Right behind Idlebird was Maggie Salley with six kills and Kaley Rammelsberg with five.

High Point trailed in the early goings of the match but scored five straight to take a 6-3 lead in the first set that the Panthers never lost. Presbyterian came close to tying it at 7-6 but a 7-2 run from HPU pushed the lead to six points. A 6-1 stretch put the Purple and White over the 20-point mark and the Panthers took five of the next six to win the opening set 25-12.

Presbyterian had a small lead once again early in the second set but HPU put the set to rest even earlier than it did in the first with a 13-point run to open a massive 21-6 lead in the set. Rammelsberg started the run off with a kill and Idlebird rattled off three in a row to get High Point to double digits. Kills from Annie Sullivan and a pair of aces from Miller combined with PC errors gave the Panthers a 10-point lead in the set, which grew to 15 before the Blue Hose registered another point. Presbyterian got three of them in a row but could only muster one more with HPU taking the second set 25-10.

High Point was determined to end the match in three sets, and took the first point of the set and never looked back. Madison Smith knocked home a kill from freshman Connelly Renfrow to extend the lead to five points and it grew to as many as seven before Presbyterian strung together three straight to slow the Panthers down. HPU responded with an 8-1 run to extend the lead to double digits at 21-10. The Purple and White got to match point with the score at 24-12 but had to wait a few more points before a kill from Megan Kratzer secured the weekend sweep in straight sets with a 25-15 victory in the frame.

The Panthers are off next week and will return to the court on Feb. 18-19 when HPU travels to UNC Asheville for a two-game series with the Bulldogs.