High Point High School’s girls volleyball team’s motto this season has been ‘reach deep.’ They did just that during Monday night’s 4A South quarterfinals against Parkdale, picking up a close three-set win, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24.
“We had confidence,” High Point libero Angeline Samuel said. “We beat them before, but they got a lot better since then.”
The Eagles (9-4) played from behind in every set, falling behind early because of problems in serve receive.
But once they got in a groove, it was hard for Parkdale to get them back out of rhythm.
Eagles setter Erica Kittleson spread the ball around to her hitters evenly while trying to keep Parkdale middle hitter Christina Oyawali (6 kills) off balance. Dami Oloyede led High Point with eight kills, followed by Grace Biney and Missy Camara with seven each.
“I am proud of them,” High Point coach Shirley Diggs said. “I truly am because it depended which team was going to show up tonight. They wanted it, they wanted to move on so that’s the team that showed up. They went to the very end.”
The Eagles fell behind in the first set, 6-1, and rallied to tie the score at 12. They trailed again late in the match, going as far as facing match point, 24-23, in Parkdale’s favor before earning three straight points to win the set.
The same happened in the second set as the Eagles fell behind early only to take a commanding 19-13 lead. The Panthers (8-5) came back slowly and tied the set at 22, 23 and 24 before High Point scored the winning points.
“We’ve played them before so we knew their strategy,” Biney said. “We knew how to come back from a game like this. We decided to focus and not to give up. That’s what we always say, ‘Don’t give up. Keep playing.’”
Next for the Eagles is a Wednesday matchup against top seeded Eleanor Roosevelt, which beat High Point during the regular season.
“Winning tonight was good. Now we just want to focus and keep our minds straight for Roosevelt,” Biney said. “We have to keep this win away and focus on Wednesday. I love my team, they’re great. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
High Point 3, Parkdale 0
Parkdale (8-5) 24 20 24 — 0
High Point (9-4) 26 25 26 — 3
Parkdale — Christina Oyawali 6, Barbara Uwandi 4, Benay Walker 3, Kareema Conteh 3.
High Point — Dami Oloyede 8, Grace Biney 7, Missy Camara 7.