In a battle of two undefeated teams, the No. 7 team in the country displayed why they belong as a top 10 program in the nation.
Pitt volleyball (5-0) fended off a strong showing from host Tennessee (4-1), who defeated No. 9 Baylor 3-2 on Friday, in another classic five-set duel.
The Panthers held on to take the first 25-23 despite a late run by the Volunteers in the final points of Sunday’s opening set.
Set two was all Tennessee as the Vols led by as much as eight before winning by nine (25-16) in bounce-back fashion to tie the match 1-1. Pitt only hit .133% with seven attacking errors compared to Tennessee’s .565% in 23 attempts.
The two programs exhibited why they both entered the afternoon undefeated in a third-set battle that required more than 25 points to determine a winner. Tied at 26-26, A Kayla Lund kill and Tennessee hitting error secured the Panthers with a 28-26 victory and 2-1 advantage after three sets.
Tennessee countered after an early Pitt lead in set four, controlling action the rest of the way to a 25-20 win to force a fifth and final set.
Pitt displayed heart and resiliency in the fifth set to complete a 3-2 match victory with a 15-10 final score to close out the weekend.
— Pitt Volleyball 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@Pitt_VB) September 5, 2021
Kayla Lund once again guided the Panthers with 19 kills followed by Chinaza Ndee’s 14. Serena Gray recorded nine total blocks, four more than Ndee’s next closest four, while also contributing seven kills. Leketor Member-Meneh reaches double-digit kills (11) and digs (13).
Tennessee served up 11 errors compared to two aces, but couldn’t finish the job despite a 34-20 margin in block assists and .240-.175 differential in hitting percentage.
Pitt returns home to host the Panther Challenge beginning September 10 against High Point at 10 a.m. before facing BYU later in the day with a 7 p.m. first serve. The Panthers will conclude the three-match event opposing Bowling Green Saturday at 7 p.m.