The run was fun while it lasted, but the No. 2 Pitt volleyball team dropped their first match of the season on Sunday hosting No. 18 Georgia Tech.
Pitt (15-1, 5-1 ACC) started off the match with a 1-0 advantage as the Panthers outhit the Yellow Jackets (13-3, 4-2) lead by Leketor Member-Meneh’s five kills. Pitt took the set 25-21 thanks to a late run, but could not close the door on the next two.
Georgia Tech pulled away late in the second set after a back-and-forth battle the entire way. It was the Yellow Jackets who stung the ball well enough for a 25-23 win, bringing momentum into the third with the match tied 1-1.
The Panthers exerted their will on the Yellow Jackets to begin set number three, eventually garnering a 20-15 lead and in the driver’s seat to critically go up 2-1. Georgia Tech had other plans. The visitors finished the set on a 10-3 run, scoring five straight to tie it at 20 before edging out the number two team in the country by a second consecutive 25-23 score.
Pitt fought its way back to command the fourth set, not giving up the lead this time and responding with a 25-18 final, the largest margin of victory in the match to force a deciding fifth set.
One of the most nerve-racking moments in volleyball, the Panthers and Yellow Jackets began set to determine what ranked opponent would fall, and Georgia Tech proved up for the challenge. The team proved why they were also worthy of a Top 25 distinction by burying Pitt late with a 6-0 run to break a 9-9 tie and hand the Blue and Gold their first loss.
Georgia Tech’s Julia Bergmann led all players with 24 kills while Chinaza Ndee and Kayla Lund were the top offensive contributors for the Panthers with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Member-Meneh recorded a double-double with 13 kills and digs. Sabrina Starks also recorded a match-high eight blocks.
The loss drops Pitt to 4-1 against Top 25 opponents and look to rebound October 15 in Coral Gables, Florida talking on Miami.