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Pitt Volleyball

No. 10 Pitt Downs Virginia in Four Sets for First ACC Road Victory

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No. 10 Pitt fell behind early to Virginia on the road, but strung together three dominant sets to get their first ACC victory on the road Wednesday night.

It is the 10th victory in a row for the Panthers (12-2 overall, 3-0 ACC) over the Cavaliers (8-6 overall, 0-3 ACC) dating back to 2015, as they continue to show their consistency against ACC opponents in recent years.

Pitt found itself down 7-3 to begin the match, as Virginia came out the far better team.

The Panthers tied the game soon after at eight points each, but never established the lead at all in the first set. The Cavaliers stayed in control and managed to expand upon their lead to 21-17.

Pitt brought the deficit within one point at 24-23, but graduate outside hitter Grace Turner got a kill, winning the set as she scored the final three points for Virginia.

The Panthers responded by beginning the second set with a 7-3 lead. Unfortunately for them, the Cavaliers also went on a scoring run of six consecutive points to take back the lead, 9-7.

Pitt then took control of the second set with a 6-0 run of their own to regain the lead, 13-9. They kept Virginia away the rest of the set, winning it 25-19 and tying the match at one set each.

The Cavaliers opened the third set with a 4-1 run, but the Panthers soon tied it. Both teams then fought back and forth to gain control, with the Panthers holding a one point lead at 17-16.

Pitt then scored the next eight points to win the set 25-16. This is in large part to two service aces by junior outside hitter Cat Flood and two kills from graduate middle blocker Sabrina Starks.

The Panthers continued to keep control of the game as they began on a 8-1 run in the fourth set. They made sure to not let any Cavaliers comeback occurred, as they never let them within five points afterwards, winning the set 25-15 and the match as well.

Graduate right setter Courtney Buzzerio continues to be one of Pitt’s most deadly attackers this season. She finished with a team-high 15 kills against Virginia and tied for second with a .500 kill percentage. It is her second straight game with that number of kills and the sixth straight game leading Pitt in that category.

Graduate middle blocker Serena Gray is coming off earning ACC Player of the Week honors and starred again for the Panthers against the Cavaliers. She made 10 kills, her third straight game with double digit kills, and led her team with a .600 hitting percentage and a .667 kill percentage.

Graduate outside hitter Cam Ennis led Pitt with 11 digs, while tying with sophomore setter Rachel Fairbanks with a team-high 21 assists in the victory over Virginia. Fairbanks usually leads this category, but only played in three sets after missing the first set due a injury she sustained in warmups.

Pitt travels to Duke on Friday, Sept. 30 and will look to keep their perfect ACC record intact.

 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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