Weekly Pitt Athletics Round-up: September 9th, 2012

In this week's roundup, you'll notice one common theme: Pitt teams winning. Wonder if the football team can do the same soon...

Men's Soccer: (2-0-2)

9/7: 3-1 W vs. IPFW

It was the first game of the Pitt/Nike Invitational at Ambrose Urbanic Field on Friday and Pitt opened with the IPFW Mastodons. After failing to score in the first half, the Mastodons opened up the scoring in the second half after a scramble in front of the Pitt goal resulted in an IPFW player tapping the ball in for a goal. But PItt fought back in the 62nd minute with a goal off a penalty kick from Nico Wrobel. Wrobel would then get another opportunity to score in the 68th minute when he lined up for another penalty kick. After going 4-4 on PK opportunities last season, Wrobel did more of the same in 2012 and converted his second PK to give Pitt a 2-1 lead. Michael Tuohy later gave Pitt an insurance goal as Pitt remains unbeaten on the season.

Women's Soccer: (5-3-0)

9/7: 1-0 W @ Liberty

In the Lady Panther's lone game of the week, they traveled down in Virginia for the first of two games. The first game against Liberty. The lone goal of the match came in the 14th minute by Riliegh McHugh from just outside the 18-yard box. Yet Pitt squandered several other goal-scoring opportunities, including a couple of breakaways. However, Pitt's defense came up big, preventing Liberty from scoring and limiting the Flames to just 9 total shots, including 0 shots on goal in the second half. Pitt's 5th win ties the most non-conference wins in a season with one more game before conference play begins.

Volleyball: (8-2)

9/4: 3-0 W @ Cleveland State

9/7: 3-1 W vs. Sam Houston State (Sugar Bowl Classic)

9/8: 3-1 W @ Tulane (Sugar Bowl Classic)

9/8: 3-1 W vs. Mississippi State (Sugar Bowl Classic)

The Panthers opened the week with a road trip to Cleveland State where Pitt continued it's unbeaten set streak with their 4th straight 3-0 win. The first set was a closely fought contest as Pitt had trouble pulling away from the Vikings. After 4 set point opportunities, Cleveland State had a ball handling error that gave Pitt the first set 28-26. The second set saw Pitt race out to a 9-4 lead before CSU spent the remainder of the set slowly getting closer and closer until they finally took the lead at 20-19. But Pitt fought back and eventually took the second set 26-24. The final set was Pitt showing the dominance over CSU as Pitt led by as many as 9 points before Pitt took the last set 25-18. Several Panthers set season-highs in the match, with Margy Acton recording 23 digs, Mechael Guess getting 10 kills, and Lindsey Zitzke earning 36 assists.

Pitt then traveled to Louisiana to take part in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic, hosted by Tulane. First up was the Sam Houston State Bearkats (yes, they spell it with a "k"). Pitt continued it's unbeaten set streak by winning the first two sets of the match. The first set started out close with the score at 8-8. Pitt then dominated the rest of the set, outscoring SHSU 17-5, winning the first set 25-13. Pitt never trailed during the set. Like the first set, Pitt was for the most part in control of the set, leading by as much as 8 at one point late. The Bearkats, though, got to within 4 late at 23-19. But Pitt was too much and took the second set 25-20. Set #3 was where Pitt lost it's first set in 5 matches. After keeping the set close with the game tied 10 different times, SHSU scored 9 of the final 11 points to take the 3rd set. Pitt bounced back and never trailed in the 4th set, leading by as much as 7 before taking the final set 25-21. During the match, Margy Acton became the 10th player in Pitt history to record 1,000 digs.

Next up was the hosts Tulane Green Wave. Pitt struggled in the opening set, falling behind 9-2 early and never getting closer than 4 the rest of the way as Pitt lost the first set 25-18. But Pitt bounced back in the second set, running out to a 7-2 lead and led by as much as 8 before taking the next set 25-19. Pitt would spend the next 2 sets in a close battle with Tulane. At 14-14 in the third set, Pitt got the break they needed, getting back-to-back kills from Alexa Campbell to go up 16-14. Pitt got 9 of the next 13 points to take set #3 25-18. The fourth and final set saw Pitt and the Green Wave close throughout, At 15-15, Pitt went on a 10-4 run to win the sixth straight match and go into the championship match against Mississippi State.

Pitt's final match against the Bulldogs was for the title and Pitt would not come away disappointed. Pitt and MSU were close throughout the first set, though Pitt did have a 4 point lead late in the set at 24-20. MSU came back though, taking the next 3 points to get within 1. But Pitt got the point they needed from Jessica Boddy to take the first set 25-23. Set #2 was the same early with Pitt leading 11-10 before the tide changed in favor of the Panthers as Pitt got the next 4 points to take a 15-10 lead. The Bulldogs would only get as close as 2 as Pitt took the second set 25-21. The Panthers wouldn't be as fortunate in the third set as MSU took an early 9-5 lead and led by as much as 10 late before they won 25-18. The fourth set was another closely fought battle with Pitt and MSU were tied 17-17. A kill from Monica Wignot gave Pitt the spark they needed as they went on a 8-2 run to take the title. Lindsey Zitzke was named Tournament MVP and Acton and Campbell were named to the all-tournament team.

This week in Pitt Athletics (September 9th-September 15th)

Football:

9/15: vs. Virginia Tech

Women's Soccer:

9/9: @ VCU

9/13: vs. Marquette

Men's Soccer:

9/9: vs. Delaware (Pitt/Nike Invitational)

9/14: vs. Northern Kentucky

Volleyball:

9/14: @ Ball State (Ball State Tournament)

9/15: vs. Wyoming (Ball State Tournament)

9/15: vs. Wright State (Ball State Tournament)

Cross Country:

9/15: Cappy Anderson Invitational

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