Site: High Point, N.C.
Score: High Point 3, USC-Upstate 1 (25-20, 25-17, 25-18)
Records: HPU 23-6 (14-1 Big South), USC Upstate 6-18 (4-11 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Saturday, November 13, 2021 — vs. USC-Upstate (High Point, N.C.), 2:00 PM
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University volleyball team won its third Big South Regular season title in four years with a 3-1 win over USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon. Sydney Palazzolo led HPU in kills with 12 on the day in the win over the Spartans. Maggie Salley and Dylan Maberry each added 11 kills in the win.
The Panthers celebrated five seniors in Brantley Rhodes, Makaya Truman, Madison Smith, Mackenzi Thornburg, and Gabrielle Idlebird. The class of 2021 has won two Big South tournament championships one in 2018, and one in the spring of 2021. Smith, Rhodes, Truman, Thornburg, and Idlebird were key contributors in HPU’s first NCAA tournament win over UCF in a thrilling five-set tournament match. The class of 2021 has a stunning record of 81-30 over their four years at HPU.
Ryan Meek: I think it’s fitting, we were celebrating senior night and wrapping up their third regular-season championship in four years by far the most successful class of High Point volleyball players to come through the program. They were in a really tough spot when I got the job, they were all signed but not recruited by me. They all had to make decisions whether to stick this out or not I’m so grateful they did and bought into the program and what we are trying to do and who we are. They have set the program up for unprecedented success. 27-match Big South winning streak, the last four years we have had one of the winningest four year stretches in conference history. You can’t do much more than they have done, won an NCAA Tournament match, won two postseason matches, the resume speaks for itself what they have been able to do here at High Point. I think every year we start with an expectation and the hope that we win the Big South Championship and right now there is only one trophy out there we and have it. Next weekend, we go for the second one.
Brantley Rhodes recorded a kill on senior day in the first set.
HPU took the first set 25-19. Maberry powered HPU to the win at the end of the set serving for the last three points of the set. Maberry recorded two service aces to give HPU 23 and 24.
The Spartans took the first set away from HPU at home since Friday, October 8th when the Panthers went five sets against the Camels.
HPU and Upstate went into the break with a set apiece.
The Panthers responded winning the second set 25-16. HPU went on a 9-1 run in the middle of the third set to go up 14-5. Thornburg was serving for four points during the run.
Smith closed out the third set for HPU recording the last two points off of kills to give HPU 25.
The Panthers went up two sets to one heading into the fourth set.
In the fourth set, HPU started to shut the door jumping out to a 15-5 advantage. Upstate stormed back and made it 15-12 in the fourth set. With the score at 16-13, HPU went on a 3-0 run to go up 19-13. HPU went on to win 25-18.
The win gave HPU the number one seed in the Big South Tournament next week and the 2021 Big South Regular Season Title.
HPU travels to Buies Creek for the Big South Tournament starting Friday, November 19th, and culminates on Sunday, November 21st for the Big South Championship.