This seems to be a popular theme.
Pitt’s volleyball team has routinely gotten off to good starts, but struggles to find itself getting early attention in the polls. That’s again the case right now.
So far this season, the Panthers are 11-4. They’re not only winning most of their matches, but have also gotten out to a 4-0 start in ACC play.
Things did actually start off a little slow this year. Facing three Top 25 teams in their first four matches was a bit too much and the team started 1-3, dropping all of those contests against ranked teams.
Since then, though, their only other loss is to Western Kentucky - a team just on the outside of the Top 25 with the second most points in the Others Receiving Votes column. After that start, Pitt has gone 10-1 and won their last eight matches.
The Panthers’ big problem, as it has been in the past, is a lack of statement wins. Winning even one of those earlier contests would have brought them some attention.
That might not seem like a huge deal but the real issue is that the ACC is really down this year. Currently no teams are ranked in the Top 25 and the Panthers’ best chances for statement wins might already be passed.
If you’re a Pitt fan, you’re hoping that the conference gets some more recognition. Florida State and Notre Dame have a good chance to do that as both are receiving votes. The Seminoles are third and a de facto No. 28. The good thing is that Pitt will get two cracks at them and the first is this Friday night on the road.
There’s not much more Pitt can do beyond that. Their emerging reputation should help as will the fact that they made the NCAA Tournament last year. But what the Panthers need to do is keep winning and avoid bad losses the rest of the way. That’s particularly true this year just because there may not be too many big wins left that can be had.