HPU volleyball posts another sweep

Oct. 29—HIGH POINT — Others enjoyed their A-games hitting while Big South Player of the Year candidate Dylan Mayberry didn't as High Point University swept another conference opponent Saturday at the Millis Center.

Allowing no more than 16 points in any set for the second straight day, the Panthers cruised past Winthrop 25-11, 25-14, 25-16 as it improved to 11-0 with all of the wins in three sets.

HPU (18-6), which never trailed at any point and shook an early tie in each set, hit at a .333 clip while holding the Eagles (10-12, 9-2) to .047 that included -.059 in the opening frame.

Christine Graf hit at a .529 pace and slammed 10 kills, one behind Eve Wilson, who hit at .450 while Jayden Shelton had nine kills and hit at .421. BayLea Sparks added five kills while swinging at .556

Maberry added nine kills but committed six errors, dropping her attack percentage to .083. But she served a team-leading three aces, had 11 digs, which were second behind Jordyn Schilling's 15 and led with three blocks. Allie Gray had 38 assists/

"A month ago, there's no way we could survive Dylan not playing her A game, " HPU coach Ryan Meek said. "But the girls have worked so hard for everyone to develop and to develop a well-oiled machine offensively. . . .If we're getting what we got tonight from everyone else and are not getting a ton the presumed (conference) Player of the Year, just imagine what's going to happen if Dylan does explode. Developing so we can withstand a Dylan 'C' night is huge. But she put up numbers elsewhere, which she has worked hard to do. It's cool seeing the thing we've worked on come to fruition against the No. 2 team in the conference.

Graf, Wilson, Sparks and Wilson had four errors combined. They also helped open up the Panthers attack as Graf regularly got good swings from the left while Wilson and Shelton scored early from the right.

"A big part of us spreading the ball around was our kids playing great," Meek said. "Jayden getting nine kills and hitting .421 that helps us go pin-to-pin. Really establishing that right side early with Jayden and Eve was huge."

HPU smacked 44 kills while Winthrop had just 24 while committing 19 attack errors.

"When we're serving tough, playing good defense and blocking, it makes it tough for the other team," Meek said ."The second part of that is it keeps us in games, helps us earn points when we're not playing well offensively."

In the first set, a 5-4 HPU lead ballooned to 20-7 over stretch in which the Eagles made eight attack errors. In the second set, HPU broke free from a 1-1 by scoring five straight points that include four kills. Winthrop closed to within 17-13 which was followed by HPU closing out the set by scoring 8 of 9 points that included three kills by Graf, two by Wilson and two Maberry aces.

Winthrop forced a 5-5 tie in the third set, HPU then scored 7 of the next 8 points as Graf, Wilson and Maberry had kills. After the Eagles drew within three for the final time at 18-15, HPU went on another closing kick, closing out the match by scoring 7 of the last 8 points as Wilson, Graf and Maberry had kills.

"I don't think we got Winthrop's best today," Meeks said. "I don't think that was their A. They'll be back in here in a few weeks for the conference tournament and if they make it to us, I thinks we'll see a different team."

The Panthers play host to Charleston Southern on Friday and close out the home regular-season schedule against Presbyterian on Saturday.