PITTSBURGH — No. 8 Pitt continued their great play in the ACC as they swept Florida State Sunday at Fitzgerald Field House.
The win for the Panthers (18-2 overall, 8-0 ACC) is their 10th straight overall and their ninth in a row over the Seminoles (12-7 overall, 4-4 ACC) starting in 2017. The win also keeps them atop the ACC tied with No. 2 Louisville, who they play at home next Sunday.
Graduate middle blocker Sabrina Starks played a solid game for the Panthers today. Sliding into the right setter position, she made six kills and also three blocks too, both tied for third and second best on the Panthers, respectively.
She said that while the win feels great, the Panthers committed too many errors and that they need to clean those up as they head into the remaining games of the season.
“I’d say our performance was average,” Starks said. “I feel like we weren’t keeping constant pressure on them. I feel like we had a lot of leads and let it slip in the end, but we finished. I think our outsides were doing as well as they could’ve been, but they’re definitely going to come back for Notre Dame a lot better.”
Pitt dominated throughout much of the first set, leading early on, 10-5 and then creating an advantage of 21-10. Florida State cut into Pitt’s lead with a 9-2 run, threatening to make a miraculous comeback. Pitt kept their composure and two kills from graduate right setter Courtney Buzzerio won them the set.
The Panthers built an early advantage again in the second set, 11-5, but again the Seminoles responded with a 9-2 run to take a 14-13 lead. The Panthers responded by scoring seven of the next 11 points, retaking the lead 20-18, and then finishing off the set with a 5-0 scoring run, 25-20.
Both teams fought back-and-forth for control in the second set, with no lead bigger than three for its entirety. Pitt fell behind, 14-13, but then used a 7-3 scoring run to take a 20-17 lead. Florida State cut the lead to one late on, but Pitt managed to finish on top, 25-22, giving them the sweep.
Buzzerio starred again for the Panthers offensively. She led with 16 kills, making it her 12th straight game leading the team and also in double digit kills. It is also her 16th game with double digit kills for the Panthers. Buzzerio played efficiently in the Panthers’ attack, finishing second with both a .444 hit percentage and a .593 kill percentage. She added three services aces and five blocks in the victory over the Seminoles, ranking first and second on the Panthers, resepctively.
Senior middle blocker Chiamaka Nwokolo finished with a team high 1.000 hit percentage and 1.000 kill percentage, while also providing six kills, tied for third with Starks.
Graduate middle blocker Serena Gray led Pitt with seven total blocks, tying for the second most in an ACC game for her in 2022.
Sophomore setter Rachel Fairbanks made a team-high 23 assists and sophomore outside hitter Julianna Dalton finished first withs seven digs.
Pitt stays at home next weekend, facing off against Notre Dame on Fri. Oct 21 and then the big matchup, No. 2 Louisville on Sunday, Oct. 23.
Starks says that they’ll focus most of their attention against the Cardinals, but won’t overlook the Fighting Irish as the ACC is far improved over the past few years.
“Taking it one game at a time,” Starks said. “I feel like the ACC has gotten a lot better over the years. So just seeing every opponent as someone that can beat us, so we need to play good. Just having constant pressure on them.”