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Pitt Volleyball

Pitt places four on AVCA All-American Teams in Buzzerio, Gray, Vasquez Gomez and Fairbanks

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Pitt volleyball saw four players make AVCA All-American teams on Wednesday, tying a program record from last year.

Graduates in right side hitter Courtney Buzzerio and middle blocker Serena Gray made the All-American First-Team, joining former outside hitter Kayla Lund as the only three players to earn that honor as a Panther.

Redshirt junior outside hitter Valeria Vasquez Gomez earned a spot on the All-American Second Team and sophomore setter Rachel Fairbanks made the All-American Third-Team. Vasquez Gomez and Fairbanks make their first All-American team and Fairbanks is the first underclassman in Pitt history to earn the honor.

Buzzerio transferred from Iowa this year and is proving herself as one of the best right side hitters in the country, making her first All-American team. She is hitting .329 and has 448 kills on the season, just 19 away from the program record in the modern scoring era. That hitting percentage is the highest of any pin hitter on a Power 5 team since 2013.

She made a career high 23 kills, also the most kills for in Pitt history in an NCAA Tournament game, in the sweep over No. 7 BYU in the second-round. Buzzerio also made two kills on the final three points against No. 1 Wisconsin Saturday night to put Pitt back in the Final Four. She earned the MVP of the NCAA Tournament Madison Region for her efforts.

Gray is a dominating force at the net and is one of the best middle blockers in the country. She is one of just two players on a Power 5 team to hit over .400 in the past two years, with her .404 hitting percentage in 2022 ranking at 12th best in the country.

She is the only player in the ACC to hit over .400 in conference play while also making over 200 kills. Gray has hit .391 and made 30 kills in the NCAA Tournament so far and she also leads the Panthers in blocks per set at .93 and service aces per set at .33.

Vasquez Gomez is flourishing in her first year in the staring lineup, providing great execution on the attack and defensively. She and Buzzerio are the only two Pitt players to play every single set this season. She made the second most kills, the second highest percentage by a pin and also made the third most aces and digs in the regular season.

She made 11 kills and 22 digs against Wisconsin last Saturday in that Elite Eight victory. Those 22 digs she made were a quarter of Pitt’s program record 88 digs in an NCAA Tournament game.

One her best games came against No. 13 Georgia Tech on Nov. 23, as she made a career-high 22 kills in the five-set classic. Vasquez Gomez also played a great defensive performance against NC State on Sep. 25, making a career-high 24 digs, the most for a Panther non-defensive specialist since 2017.

Fairbanks serves as the setter for the Panthers and led with 725 assists in the regular season, almost 500 more than the next player. She plays an all-around game, making kills and also playing strong defense by making clutch blocks and digs. Fairbanks is the first Panther to make over 100 kills, 700 assists, 200 digs and 30 aces in a season in the modern scoring era.

She completed a triple-double over Texas A&M on Aug. 28, finishing with 13 kills, 15 assists and 12 digs. Fairbanks also achieved another triple-double against BYU last Saturday, with 10 kills, 28 assists and 13 digs.

This makes her the only player in the country to record multiple triple-doubles in three set matches. It also makes her the first Pitt player to make multiple triple-doubles in the same season in the modern scoring era.

All four players earned a spot on the All-ACC Teams and the AVCA East Coast Region Team. 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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