High Point Volleyball Takes Home Opener in Straight Sets

Site: High Point, N.C. (Millis Center)
Score: High Point 3, Radford 0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-18)
Records: HPU 5-0 (5-0 Big South), RU 3-4 (3-4 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Friday, February 26, 2021 — vs. Radford (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.) 1 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team continued its winning ways with its third straight victory in straight sets with a 3-0 win over Radford Thursday afternoon (Feb. 25) in the home-opener at the Millis Center.

The Panthers’ defense was up to the challenge yet again, holding Radford to hitting just .079 in the match, and never more than .125 in any set. Annie Sullivan paced the offense with 11 kills while Abby Bottomley served up a career-best five aces to go with a team-high eight digs.

“Anytime you can get a sweep over a big rival like Radford you’re excited,” said head coach Ryan Meek after the match. “I thought we did a good job executing our game plan and playing with energy. We’re looking forward to competing again tomorrow.”

High Point had an extremely strong start to the match, taking six of the first seven points, including a streak of five straight that featured three aces from Bottomley. The teams traded points until a 6-0 run by the Panthers broke the opening set wide open at 16-5, featuring kills from Sullivan, Gabrielle Idlebird, and Sopheea Mink. Radford took two of the next three but HPU rattled off another four-in-a-row to get to 21, with Bottomley picking up another ace in the process. The Highlanders mounted a slight comeback but a kill from Maria Miggins gave the opening set to the Purple and White, 25-14.

The second set started as a game of runs, with Radford taking the first five points before High Point won the next four. Madison Smith got the Panthers on the board with a pair of kills and then Mink and Kaley Rammelsberg combined for a block, one of Rammelsberg’s team-high five blocks on the day to go with nine kills. Bottomley had the fourth and final point of the run for the Panthers, serving up her fifth and final ace of the match to cut the deficit to one.

HPU kept the pressure on and went on a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead just before the media timeout, 14-8. Rammelsberg led the way with four kills on the run, followed closely by Sullivan with three and Miggins adding another. The Panthers doubled-up the Highlanders at 20-10 and after trading points for a stretch put the set away with another kill from Miggins, 25-16.

Radford led early again in the third set, opening an 8-4 lead before High Point stormed back with a 13-2 run shortly after to swing the momentum in the Panthers’ favor at 20-12. The two points Radford had occurred far away from each other, with HPU taking five and four points at a time during the run. The Highlanders mounted a small comeback to pull within five at 21-16 but the Panthers put the match away by taking four of the next six, with two kills coming from Sullivan to get her into double digits.

High Point and Radford conclude their series tomorrow (Feb. 25) at 1 p.m. before the Panthers head back out on the road with a pair of matches at USC Upstate next weekend.