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Pitt volleyball turning in another strong season

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

Last year, the Pitt volleyball team put together one of their best seasons in program history, going 25-6 and nearly making the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Panthers appear well on their way to another excellent year.

So far, Pitt is 10-2 on the season, including a perfect 9-0 at home and on neutral courts. The team's lone two losses have come against ranked programs on the road - a 3-1 setback to No. 5 Nebraska and a 3-1 defeat to No. 24 Michigan.

Outside of those difficult matchups, the Panthers have steamrolled their competition. The team recorded 3-0 shutout wins against six of their nine opponents and won 3-1 in the other matches. This weekend, Pitt won all three matches against George Washington, Bowling Green, and Lehigh in their Panther Invitational, with Jenna Potts winning Tournament MVP honors.

A better showing so far against their two ranked opponents would have helped, but so far, the team has avoided bad losses. Part of the reason the team didn't make the NCAA Tournament last year surely was the fact that they lost two matches to a bad Virginia Tech team. As evidenced by last year, the Panthers can't afford to do that without knocking off a few ranked teams.

Also noteworthy is that this is a program that is getting better each year. Pitt's win total has gone from 17 in 2012-13, to 19 in 2013-14, to 25 last year. Under head coach Dan Fisher, who took over in 2013, the volleyball program has gone from being a non-factor to garnering some national attention. Fisher's team piled up 44 wins over the past two years and last year, beat Duke for the program's first ranked win in nearly a decade.

Pitt opens up ACC play this week hosting North Carolina State and North Carolina at the Field House this weekend on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

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