CHARLOTTE — High Point senior libero Abby Bottomley has been voted the 2021 Big South Conference Spring Volleyball Player of the Year, while Panthers’ head coach Ryan Meek was selected Coach of the Year by the league’s head coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.
Bottomley is the first libero ever to be voted Big South Player of the Year, and is the first Panther with the postseason honor since former teammate Molly Livingston in 2018. Bottomley appeared in all 55 sets for HPU this spring and tallied 285 digs, 5.18 digs per set, 27 service aces, 0.49 service aces per set, and 62 assists. Her 27 total service aces were the most in the Big South this spring, while her per set average ranked second among the league leaders. Bottomley also paced the conference with her 5.18 digs per set — the lone player to average at least 5.00, and her 285 digs were second-most. Her efforts helped the Panthers hold its Big South opponents to a .090 hitting percentage in 16 league matches.
She received two first-place votes and 134 total points in the voting to earn a spot on the All-Conference First-Team, and finished ahead of teammates Annie Sullivan (132 points, three first-place votes) and Kaley Rammelsberg (129 points) for Player of the Year honors. Bottomley also made the All-Academic team.
Meek collects his first Big South Coach of the Year honor after leading High Point to a perfect 16-0 Big South record and the outright Big South Championship during the 2021 conference-only spring season — the program’s third outright title in four years. The Panthers’ posted the league’s first 16-0 conference season since 2017, and tallied 11 overall 3-0 sweeps — including seven consecutive from Feb. 5-March 5.
The third-year coach finished with eight first-place votes and 24 points in the voting, ahead of Campbell’s Greg Goral (nine points).
Madison Smith of HPU was also named first-team All-Conference. Gabrielle Idlebird was named second-team; and Mackenzi Thornburg and Maria Higgins of the Panthers made honorable mention.
ROCKERS NAME TRAINER
HIGH POINT — Joe Geck, a veteran athletic trainer with 30 years of experience in pro baseball, will serve as the sports medicine professional for the High Point Rockers in 2021.
Geck, who resides in Hickory, N.C. year-round, spent 28 years in the Chicago White Sox organization, serving as the head athletic trainer at Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem, Kannapolis, Hickory and in the Gulf Coast League. He began is professional career with the Kansas City Royals in the Rookie level Gulf Coast League in 1990.
Geck is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds membership in the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and is licensed as an athletic trainer in North Carolina.
Geck has been a part of numerous teams that qualified for the playoffs during his career and was the trainer for the AA Birmingham Barons in the White Sox organization when they won the Southern League title in 2002.
BASEBALL WESTCHESTER CD, FORSYTH CD
LEWISVILLE — Westchester Country Day defeated Forsyth Country Day 10-6 in PTAC baseball Tuesday at Forsyth Country Day.
Austin Melton went 3 for 3 with three runs and three RBIs to lead the Wildcats (2-2 overall, 1-1 PTAC), who led 6-1 through two innings and scored in all but the third and fifth innings. Tate Vogler went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, while Trey Johnson also went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Bryce Hooker and Caleb Hammond each added a hit and two RBIs.
Grayson Chapman picked up the win on the mound.
SOFTBALL HP CENTRAL, RAGSDALE
JAMESTOWN — High Point Central pounded host Ragsdale 15-0 in a Metro 4A contest stopped after three innings because of a mercy rule.
Central scored 13 runs in the first and two in the third.
E. RANDOLPH, TRINITY
TRINITY — Eastern Randolph defeated host Trinity in a PAC-7 2A match stopped after three innings because of a mercy rule Tuesday.
ER scored 13 runs in the first and four in the second.
WESLEYAN CHRISTIAN, CARY ACADEMY
CARY — Wesleyan Christian fell 11-8 against Cary Academy in softball Tuesday at Cary Academy.
Bella Dunning went 3 for 4 with a triple, two RBIs and three stolen bases to lead the Trojans. Lila Allred added two RBIs and two stolen bases, while Emmalie Spry chipped in two hits — including a double — and two RBIs and Chandler Deese also had two hits — including a double.
BOYS TENNIS WESLEYAN, GREENSBORO DAY
HIGH POINT — Greensboro Day topped host Wesleyan 6-3 on Tuesday.
Luke Rudolph and Lucas Newton won singles matches for the Trojans and also teamed for a doubles win.
WESTCHESTER, FORSYTH COUNTRY DAY
HIGH POINT — Forsyth Country Day swept Westchester Country Day 9-0 in a Piedmont Triad Athletic Conference match Tuesday at Westchester.
The Wildcats drop to 0-4, 0-2 PTAC.
SW GUILFORD, SMITH
HIGH POINT — Southwest Guilford swept Smith 9-0 in Piedmont Triad 3A Conference boys tennis Tuesday at Southwest.
Trung Nguyen, Parker Perry, Tim Vo and Tommy Lacey won in singles, while Vo/Daniel Etheredge and Grant Prevatt/Mason Drabik won in doubles.
GIRLS SOCCER WHEATMORE, CARRBORO
CARRBORO — Summer Bowman scored three goals and Wheatmore defeated host Carrboro 4-1 in nonconference action Tuesday.
Wheatmore’s other tally was by virtue of a Carrboro own goal. Taylor Cromer, Ellie Garrison and Izzy Rigney had assists for the warriors. Victoria Lowe grabbed five saves.
WESLEYAN, BURLINGTON SCHOOL
BURLINGTON — Wesleyan Christian doubled The Burlington School 8-4 in a match at The Burlington School on Tuesday.
NW GUILFORD, HP CENTRAL
HIGH POINT — Northwest Guilford routed High Point Central 9-0 in a Metro 4A Conference match Tuesday at Central.
WESTCHESTER CD, FORSYTH COUNTRY DAY
HIGH POINT — Westchester Country Day fell 7-0 against Forsyth Country Day in PTAC girls soccer Tuesday at Westchester.
The Wildcats dipped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
GREENSBORO — Ragsdale lost 6-2 against Grimsley in Metro 4A Conference girls soccer Tuesday at Grimsley.
The Tigers moved to 2-1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
GOLF AT SAPONA RIDGE CC
LEXINGTON — The Oak Grove girls took first and the boys finished third in Tuesday’s Central Carolina Conference golf match at Sapona Ridge Country Club.
The Oak Grove girls finished with a team score of 129, beating out second-place Ledford with a 145, as well as West Davidson and North Davidson.
Kaitlyn McDonell shot a 41 while Emma Maddock had a 42 to lead the Oak Grove girls. Trey Benson shot a 38 to lead the Oak Grove boys.
COLLEGE SPORTS HPU BASEBALL, ELON
ELON — The High Point University baseball program dropped a non-conference midweek matchup at Elon University 8-7 Tuesday. It was the first midweek loss of the season for HPU and the first non-conference game since playing UNCG in a doubleheader on Feb. 28.
Joe Johnson had a big day at the plate for the Purple and White, going 3-4 with three extra-base hits — all of which were as the leadoff batter of the inning. He had doubles to the gap on either side of center to start and then ripped a solo home run in the seventh. He was one of two Panthers with multiple hits in the game along with Evan Bergman, who had a pair of singles and drove in a run.
Down 7-6, Elon scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth when HPU failed to turn a double play on a ground ball.
HPU moved in front 2-1 in the second on a RBI groundout and sacrifice fly, then added two more in the third on Brady Pearre’s RBI double and Sam Zayicek’s RBI single.
Johnson homered in the seventh to put HPU ahead 5-4 and Elon scored two later that inning.
HPU regained the lead 7-6 in the top of the eighth on Peyton Carr’s sacrifice fly and Balke Sutton’s pinch hit, ground-rule double.
The Panthers (9-15) return to action Friday at Longwood.
CHALBAUD NAMED PLAYER OF WEEK
CHARLOTTE — High Point junior midfielder/forward Sebastian Chalbaud (Valencia, Venezuela) has been named the Big South Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, for matches played March 29-April 4, the conference announced Tuesday.
Chalbaud scored twice and added an assist in leading the Panthers to a 5-1 win over Longwood on Saturday to clinch the outright Big South regular-season championship. He scored back-to-back goals against the Lancers, first at 24:40 and again 14 minutes later at 38:52. Chalbaud later assisted on HPU’s fourth goal of the game at the 59:02 mark. His performance earned him TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week honors.
BIG SOUTH LAUDS GERHART
CHARLOTTE — High Point sophomore forward Sam Gerhart (Lebanon, Pa.) has been named the Big South Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for matches played March 29-April 4, the conference announced Tuesday.
Gerhart factored in all of High Point’s scoring in the Panthers’ 3-1 win over Presbyterian last Saturday. Facing a 1-0 deficit just 2:06 into the contest, Gerhart knotted the game with a goal at 24:40, and then put home the go-ahead score at 53:37. She then assisted on High Point’s final tally at the 84:43 mark.
ALABAMA’S CLARK NAMED SEC CO-RUNNER OF THE WEEK
TUSCALOOSA, Ala — Alabama’s Tamara Clark ran an outdoor PR of 22.50 to win the 200 meters at the Florida Relays. It is the best time in the nation this season and ranks her third all-time at Alabama.
Clark — who starred at High Point Central — finished second in the 100 meters with an 11.12, which matches the fifth-fastest time in school history and ties her for second in the nation this season.
She also was part of the 4x100-meter relay team that finished in 44.39, good for 14th nationally.