Pitt’s volleyball team continued its unbelievable run, winning its 13th match in a row defeating North Carolina on Friday night. For the Panthers it was another comfortable win as they swept the Tar Heels, winning all three sets.
Pitt took the first set 25-18 and absolutely crushed North Carolina in the second set, 25-10. The Tar Heels were more comfortable in the third set, but still fell, 25-21 giving Pitt another 3-0 win.
The Panthers weren’t really challenged all match and they had a comfortable lead in the first two sets most of the time. That followed the theme for the team during this winning streak as they’ve mostly won with little difficulty.
Pitt didn’t only pick up a big win tonight but they also got a bit of a break earlier this week when previously unbeaten North Carolina State went down to this same Tar Heels team, losing 3-1. That means the Panthers’ win kept them alone in first place in the ACC heading into Sunday’s big matchup with the Wolfpack.
Leading the way offensively was Nika Markovic, who had 16 kills. The Panthers also got great games by a lot of others, though. Setter Kamalani Akeo, who has to be among the best in the country, had 33 assists and barely flinched making numerous tough sets all match. Libero Angela Seman had ten digs from the back line as she continues making her way up the school’s all-time list in that category. And I remain really impressed with true freshmen Chinaza Ndee and Kayla Lund. They combined for 17 kills and neither really looks much like a true freshman most nights.
The team really struck the ball well on Friday. The Panthers dominated the match in hitting percentage, doubling up North Carolina in that category, 34% to 17%.
I honestly thought the Tar Heels were going to be a much bigger test. They have one of the best players in the country in Taylor Leath and had just knocked off North Carolina State this week. But the Panthers are just playing on another level right now and while the Wolfpack are a really good team, a loss to them on Sunday would seem like a pretty big upset at this point. The Panthers have won 13 in a row and no one else in the conference has won more than three straight.
The Panthers now sit at 16-4 overall and 9-0 in conference.