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Pitt volleyball earns more votes in Top 25 poll

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Nika Markovic 2017 Volleyball

The Pitt volleyball team has won 12 matches in a row and is on an absolute tear. That still isn’t translating to much credit in the polls, however.

The Panthers are 8-0 in ACC play and now 15-4 on the season. But getting points in the rankings has been difficult. This week, they went from three total points to 14. That is enough to bump them up to 31st overall as the sixth highest team receiving votes.

At the crux of the team’s problems is they are without a big victory. Their best win to date is probably against either Florida State or Miami and, while the Seminoles previously were earning a decent amount of votes, neither is even listed in the Others Receiving Votes category right now.

In fact, no other ACC team besides Pitt appears in the Top 25 or in the Others Receiving Votes area as well. The Panthers will have a chance to pick up some nice wins this weekend, facing both North Carolina and North Carolina State - the latter is unbeaten in the ACC. But neither will move the needle much for Pitt and the Panthers, at this point, need to not only keep winning but see some of the teams in front of them lose a few matches.

The toughest opponents are mostly, if not entirely, behind Pitt at this point. And the problem is that the Panthers didn’t beat them. Three of the team’s four losses came to ranked teams and the fourth was to Western Kentucky, which is 26th overall right now, just on the outside. That’s not ideal, but the thing to keep in mind is that all of those losses were right at the beginning of the season. The Panthers are playing two freshmen in Kayla Lund and Chinaza Ndee now (sometimes starting both) and have gotten better since the beginning of the season.

As a whole, the Panthers just aren’t earning a ton of respect. One highly-regarded site ranks teams in each region. They have Pitt behind Florida State, which simply doesn’t make any sense. Pitt is slightly behind the Seminoles in RPI (37th to 30th) but the Panthers also have a better record, won a road head-to-head matchup relatively easily, and has one of the longest winning streaks in the country. Seeing Florida State ranked ahead of them at this stage is just really confusing. No matter what you think of the polls, I think most reasonable people that have watched what those two teams have done would go in the other direction there.

Formula is simple - just keep winning.

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