Pitt volleyball got back to winning ways, as they defeated Notre Dame in a sweep on the road Sunday afternoon.
The Panthers (16-3 overall, 7-1 ACC) get their 10th win in 11 matches and stay at the top of the ACC, along with the Florida State Seminoles and the Louisville Cardinals. It is also their fourth straight victory against the Fighting Irish (10-6 overall, 4-4 ACC), third straight on the road and improves their series record to 10-3 since they both joined the ACC in 2013.
Both teams battled for control in the first set, with Pitt holding a slight 13-11 lead. They broke out on a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 19-11 and held Notre Dame off for the 25-16 set win.
The Fighting Irish dominated throughout much of the second set, building a lead as big as 16-9. The Panthers used an 8-3 run to cut the lead to 19-17, but the Fighting Irish responded with back-t0-back kills from junior outside hitter Sydney Palazzolo to make it 21-17.
Sophomore libero/defesnive specialist Dillyn Griffin put on a great display of serving and helped Pitt go on a 5-1 run to tie the game up at 22. Notre Dame sophomore outside hitter Lucy Trump made a kill to put her team up 23-22, but Pitt would win the set 25-23, off a kill from junior setter Rachel Fairbanks and two blocks from first-year right side hitter Olivia Babcock.
The Panthers got off to a great start in the third set, starting out on a 7-1 run and increasing their lead to 10-3. The Fighting Irish had a difficult time cutting into the Panthers lead, but did trim their lead to 21-18 later on. The Panthers would finish the set and the match off, scoring four of the next five points, 25-19.
First-year outside hitter Torrey Stafford led Pitt with 12 kills and seven digs, demonstrating her versatility across the court. Babcock joined Stafford in leading Pitt with 13.0 total points, as she made eight kills and five total blocks, second best on the team. She also led the team with two service aces.
Graduate middle blockers in Emma Monks and Chiamaka Nwokolo both had solid matches as well for the Panthers. Monks finished second with nine kills and third with four total blocks, while Nwokolo led the Panthers with seven total blocks.
Fairbanks had a well-rounded game, leading the team with 27 assists and a .455 hitting percentage, while also having five kills and five digs, second most on the Panthers along with Babcock.
Pitt volleyball will come back home this Wednesday to face Virginia at 7:00 p.m., which the ACC Network is broadcasting.