In a battle between two Top 5 teams, the No. 4 Pitt Panthers fought till the end but fell short against No. 2 Louisville.
The match lived up to the hype as one of 2021’s best to date with back-and-forth action in the Panthers’ (18-2, 8-2) first ever matchup against a fellow Top 5 team.
The loss at Louisville (20-0, 10-0) is Pitt’s first road loss and moves to 4-2 against Top 25 opponents.
Pitt took the first set 25-19 in what ended up being the largest differential to end a set, jumping out with momentum up 1-0 thanks in large part to a .714 hitting percentage.
Louisville propelled themselves to an early 13-3 lead in the second set, putting the Panthers in a hole they couldn’t dig out of. Pitt cut into the lead with a few mini runs, but failed to muster enough points, falling 25-20.
With the match 1-1, Louisville once again came out hot and struck early in the wildest set of the afternoon. Eight ties incapacilated a tough offensive set for both squads as Louisville put an exclamation point on a 27-25 victory.
Pitt responded in the fourth set to keep the match alive thanks to a late push to seal a 25-22 win and finish on a 5-1 run, tying the match once again and forcing a deciding fifth set.
Set number five was another thrilling and nail-biting finish, but after a 13-13 tie, Louisville defended home court and its unbeaten record to earn the next two points and a 15-13 win to take the match 3-2.
Transfers Leketor Member-Meneh and Serena Gray played well once again despite the loss, with Member-Meneh recording a double-double (18 kills and 12 digs) and Gray a Panther-best seven blocks.
Chinaza Ndee totaled 16 kills and Kayla Lund 14 on the road.
The Panthers return home facing Wake Forest on Friday at the Fitzgerald Field House.