PITTSBURGH — For the first time ever, Pitt volleyball was ranked in the Top 10 and hosted another Top 10 team on campus on Wednesday night, as the No. 6 Panthers greeted the No. 10 Oregon Ducks at Fitzgerald Field House.
The Panthers kept their winning ways rolling with a 3-1 victory to extend their season-opening winning streak to seven games.
Pitt faced some adversity for the first time, dropping the second set to the Ducks, 25-23, after winning the first, 26-24. It was the first set loss for the team this season, having posted six straight three-set sweeps coming in to Wednesday night’s Top 10 battle.
The experienced Panthers bounced back, led by senior Nika Markovic and junior Kayla Lund (14 kills each). Senior Layne Van Buskirk had 10 kills and redshirt senior Stephanie Williams had 10 digs.
Pitt took the third set, 25-20, and got some contributions from some of the Panthers’ younger players down the stretch to turn the tide after trailing in the fourth to win, 25-22.
Sophomore Sabrina Starks came off the bench for a huge block to set up the match point, and first-year setter Alexis Akeo had 39 assists, 10 digs and her unreturned serve sealed the victory.
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) September 12, 2019
Pittsburgh Sports Now spoke with Lund and head coach Dan Fisher after the match.
The Panthers, now 7-0, could move up in the rankings. They’ll also continue to be tested. Pitt will play a three-game tournament at Pepperdine this weekend where No. 16 Utah is on the docket.
Then, the Panthers will play a home-and-home series with No. 4 Penn State, at State College on Friday, Sept. 20 and at the Petersen Events Center on Sunday, Sept. 21. Pitt has already sold over 1,500 tickets for that game and is hoping to break the program attendance record.