PITTSBURGH — No. 7 Pitt volleyball had no issue with Virginia Tech, sweeping them in three sets Friday night at Fitzgerald Field House.
The win for the Panthers (19-3 overall, 10-1 ACC) is their fourth in a row and it is the ninth consecutive against the Hokies (12-10 overall, 2-9 ACC), improving their record in the series to 15-6 and 8-2 at home. It also improves keeps their winning streak against ACC opponents at home to 15 matches.
Pitt started out the first set on a 7-1 run and would hold sizable leads over Virginia Tech the rest of the way in 10-5, 15-8, 20-12 and 25-13, hitting .700.
The Panthers began the second set on another impressive run, 7-2. The Hokies would try and keep it somewhat close, down 12-7, but the Panthers scored six of the next seven points to increase their lead to 18-7 and would win the set 25-14.
Pitt dominated the third set, taking a 12-3 lead to begin and increasing it to 18-6, before finishing the match off with another 25-14 set win.
The Panthers set a program record in the match with a .619 hitting percentage in the win, with 41 kills on 63 attacks and just two errors.
First-year outside hitter Torrey Stafford led Pitt with 11 kills on 16 attacks, for a .688 hitting percentage, best on the team with that many attacks. She was also second on the team with six digs and had two total blocks.
Fellow first-year in right side hitter Olivia Babcock had a solid game herself, with eight kills on 10 attacks for an .800 hitting percentage
Graduate student middle blocker Emma Monks had 11 total blocks, her most on the season. Junior in setter Rachel Fairbanks and libero/defensive specialist Emmy Klika also led Pitt with 21 assists and eight digs, respectively.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Valeria Vazquez Gomez had seven kills on nine attacks for a .778 hitting percentage and she led the Panthers with two service aces as well.
“Kudos to the setters, they were putting us in rhythm,” Vazquez Gomez said on the record breaking hitting percentage. “We were just going hard to swing high and if we saw space we went for it.”
Vazquez Gomez made a big decision this week to remain with Pitt for her sixth season. She was more towards staying prior to making her decision, but once she talked to some Pitt volleyball alumni, it made all the sense to stay one more year.
“I think the love for the coaching staff, the team and I don’t want to regret not coming back and missing the unique experience of college,” Vazquez Gomez said. “I don’t think I’m ever going to have it again, so might as well use it as much as I can.”
Pitt volleyball will stay at home as they face Wake Forest on Sunday, at 1:00 p.m. where they will honor graduating players on Senior Day.