Site: Radford, Va. (Dedmon Center)
Score: High Point 3, Radford 0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-15)
Records: HPU 12-5 (4-0 Big South), RU 2-13 (0-3 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Friday, October 8, 2021 — vs. Campbell (Millis Center, High Point, N.C.), 7 p.m.
RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University volleyball team matched the program record for most consecutive Big South wins with a three-set victory against Radford University on Friday evening (Oct. 1).
The win was HPU’s 20th conference win in a row, matching the program record set from the 2016 to 2018 seasons. The Panthers’ current streak is now the third-longest in the history of the Big South, one behind Radford’s streak of 21 straight from 2000-2002 and 31 behind Winthrop’s conference record of 51 consecutive Big South victories that spanned parts of five seasons from 2003-2007.
High Point’s defense was the driving force behind the win as the Panthers held Radford to hitting just .019 in the match and forced the Highlanders to hit negative in two of the three. It’s the second-lowest HPU has held an opponent this season and the second match in the last three that High Point has held its opponent to hitting under .020. The Purple and White totaled 10 blocks in the match, led by freshman Jackie Joyce with six, to record double-digit blocks for the fourth time this season and the second time in their last three matches. Madison Smith and Gabrielle Idlebird each had four blocks, with Idlebird picking up a solo stuff, while Maria Miggins pitched in two.
Dylan Maberry led the offense with 12 kills to be the only Panther in double digits. Smith was second on the team with seven while Sydney Palazzolo had six and Miggins added five. Miggins also had 11 assists – a category that was led by Mackenzi Thornburg for the 10th match in a row with 17 helpers. Jenny Wessling was the only other player in double digits in a category with a team-best 13 digs in the match.
“I thought we started slow but it was nice to see us recover,” head coach Ryan Meek said after the match. “We need to do a better job of being mentally prepared at the beginning of a match but I liked the resilience we showed in sets two and three.”
The match was a milestone match for Meek as it was his 100th at the helm of the Panthers, improving his record to 71-29. It was also his 50th in the Big South and moved his conference record to 46-4 for a .920 winning percentage – the best out of any Big South volleyball head coach with at least 50 conference matches coached in league history.
Radford gave the Panthers a scare in the first set, leading 14-7 halfway through the frame. High Point clawed back and used a 7-1 run to take the lead 20-19. The Highlanders retook the lead late, 23-22, before HPU took the next three points to take the set with kills from Palazzolo and Idlebird sandwiched around an ace from Thornburg.
The second and third sets were all High Point as they took them 25-14 and 25-15. The Purple and White won the first two points in each set and never lost the lead. HPU doubled up the Highlanders 20-10 in the second set and then won five of the next nine to take the frame. An 11-1 stretch in the third set gave the Panthers a double-digit lead at 17-6 and High Point was able to cruise to the 25-15 victory to close out the match.
HPU finally has its first home match of the year next Friday (Oct. 8) when Campbell comes to town at 7 p.m. The Panthers stay home on Saturday (Oct. 9) with a match against Hampton at 2 p.m. before heading back on the road the following weekend.