Pitt’s volleyball team continued its hot streak and won its ninth match in a row Friday night, defeating a good Florida State team, three sets to one. At 5-0 in the ACC, the Panthers are now just ahead of North Carolina State, who is 4-0, for first place. Right now, they could be considered the top team in the conference.
Pitt took the first set, 25-23 and just looked really sharp. Things cooled off a little in the second. The Panthers started running into blocking issues in the second set. They dropped that one 25-21 to tie things at a set a piece.
The blocking problems were there all game for Pitt. Head coach Dan Fisher was pretty upset on several of them, thinking Florida State was in the net on many occasions. He challenged one and the replay showed he was correct. But coaches only have three challenges in a match and they don’t get any more, even if the replay shows they’re correct.
Florida State’s blocking was really strong all match. They certainly were in the net a few times but often, just had really clean blocks.
The Seminoles had some strong blocking in the third set as well, but Pitt was able to prevail there, winning 25-21. Pitt would go on to take the fourth set, also 25-21, to get the win.
Both coaches seemed to be a little disturbed by the officiating. All six challenges in the game (three per team) were burned by the halfway point of the fourth set of a really close match.
In addition to the blocking, one of Pitt’s biggest problems was on service errors. They had around ten of them in all. Still, they played well enough to overcome that.
At least three players had double doubles in kills and digs for Pitt - Nika Markovic, Mariah Bell, and Stephanie Williams. True freshman Chinaza Ndee continued playing well, too, with ten kills.
Overall, this is a great win for the team. I wrote earlier that they needed a statement win and this is a really good one. Florida State was probably the best team still left on the schedule so to beat them here was a big victory. They’re not ranked in the AVCA Coaches poll but were getting quite a few votes. I expect some of those will go to Pitt now.
Next up is another tough match as Pitt travels to Miami on Sunday.