High Point earned its first trip to the state volleyball semifinals in more than two decades with a 25-6, 25-15, 25-17 victory over Northwestern last night in the Maryland 4A South Region final.
The win improved the Eagles to 18-0; the last time they advanced to the state semifinals was 1979, when they claimed the state title.
Coach Shirley Diggs said the team gained confidence from early-season wins over region powers Bowie and Eleanor Roosevelt. Diggs employed a seven-player rotation, and six of those players she lured from the basketball team along with former coach Monica Welch, who is serving as an assistant this season.
"We knew they were athletes. We said: 'Why don't you play volleyball? We'll teach you,' " Diggs said.
High Point will play 4A North champion Dulaney, which beat Thomas Johnson, 25-23, 13-25, 25-21, 25-12, in the second of two 4A semifinals Tuesday at Ritchie Coliseum. In the early match, defending 4A champion Broadneck will meet Gaithersburg.
Broadneck earned its sixth straight trip to the state semifinals, defeating South River in five games, 25-13, 25-14, 19-25, 20-25, 15-8, to claim the 4A East Region championship.
For Broadneck (15-3), Stephanie Carey had 40 assists, Ali Malesick had 12 kills and eight blocks, Nikki Wirth had 15 digs and four aces, and Kanishia Sheppard added 13 kills, 14 digs and 2 aces.
Coach Romonzo Beans said anything short of another state title would be unfulfilling. "A lot of girls have put a lot of time into this program. Every year they come to believe this is where we should be," Beans said.
Elsewhere, second-year school Huntingtown (15-2) earned its second straight trip to the state semis, beating Northern, 17-25, 25-19, 25-15, 26-24, for the 3A South region title. In 2A, Glenelg advanced claimed the South region title with a 25-21, 25-17, 21-25, 25-17 win over Calvert.
The 3A semifinals will be played Tuesday at North Point High in Charles County at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; the 2A semis are set for Wednesday at North Point at the same times.
Staff writer Sonny Amato contributed to this report.