Pitt’s 2018 volleyball season didn’t end the way the Panthers wanted it to, with a home-court loss to Michigan in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Dec. 1 tripping up hopes of a deeper postseason run this year.
But it was still a strikingly successful season for the Panthers, both as a team, and individually.
Head coach Dan Fisher was named AVCA all-region coach and the ACC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. Wednesday, four of Fisher’s players earned national All-America recognition, the most in program history.
Junior right side Nika Markovic was named to the AVCA All-America third time, the third Pitt player and first since 2009 to earn such an honor. Sophomore outside hitter, junior middle hitter Layne Van Buskirk and redshirt junior outside hitter Stephanie Williams were all named honorable mentions. Williams was honored for the third straight year, also a Pitt first.
“These awards are indicative of the hard work that these student-athletes put forth this season, as each of them have helped this program rise to the status that it is today,” Fisher said in a press release. “Having the most All-Americans in a single season in program history is significant. I’m proud to be their coach and I’m very glad to see them recognized on a national scale.”
As a team, the Panthers’ 30 wins were the most for the program since 1990, they set a program high for winning percentage at .938 and they won their second consecutive ACC title.
The Panthers are primed for yet another successful season in 2019, as well. All four nationally honored players have eligibility remaining for the upcoming season. Next year, Pittsburgh is hosting the NCAA Volleyball Championships for the first time.