The Pitt volleyball team had dropped two straight matches after falling to Louisville on Friday. But the Panthers (17-6) got back on track Sunday with a sweep of Notre Dame (16-7) on the road, winning 3-0.
Pitt easily took the first two sets, 25-16, but looked to be headed to a fourth set. That’s because in Set 3, the Panthers trailed 19-15. Pitt, though, wasn’t ready to concede that set and went on an incredible 11-2 run to win it and earn the sweep.
The Panthers got a strong game from Stephanie Williams. She led the team with 13 kills but also did an incredible job serving. Williams had four aces (which may have been the entire amount the team had) and the team put together a lot of runs with her serving. Pitt scored eight straight points with her serving in one sequence and seven straight in a second. Even the serves that Notre Dame effectively kept in play often resulted in their offense needing to scramble to set up a clean kill attempt.
Pitt also got double-digit kill matches from Nika Markovic and Kayla Lund, both who are routinely in that category. It was also great to see freshman Chi Ndee rebound a little. She didn’t have a huge match but played much better than she had on Friday against Louisville. She only had ten attempts but had kills in half of them, leading the team with a 50% percentage. Ndee was also the lone starter without an error.
Lund, in particular, continues to impress me. Head coach Dan Fisher previously has called her one of the hardest-hitting freshmen in the country and she might be the hardest hitter on the team. She had two strong hits from the back line that went for kills and to see some of the things she does is so impressive for a true freshman.
Sunday’s match was a great way for the team to get back on track. The win ties the Panthers with Louisville for first place in the ACC standings, even though Louisville holds a slight edge with a head-to-head win over Pitt. Next up for the team is a big four-match homestand starting Friday against Miami, who at 14-4 has the best overall record in the conference.
Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.