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Down season by ACC has hurt Pitt volleyball team

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Stephanie Williams 2017 Volleyball

The Pitt volleyball team is having a great season and the Panthers have already secured their fourth consecutive 20-win season. And at 21-6 with four matches remaining against weaker opponents, Pitt could up its regular season win total to 25.

Despite the 21-6 win season, though, the Panthers haven’t been able to get much consideration in the Top 25 rankings when some teams with as many as eight and nine losses are not only in but in the Top 20.

What gives? Part of the problem is that Pitt lacks the impressive statement wins of some of those teams. The Panthers had four cracks at scoring a really impressive win and missed each time. But what’s hurt the team is that, even though they’ve improved, all of those matches came earlier in the season. Now that the team is playing a little better, they’ve not had the opportunities for a big win. Why? Because the ACC is down this year.

Really down.

The ACC isn’t a terrible conference, mind you. But they typically have a few ranked teams and have none right now. You might expect that a few would be right on the cusp, but that isn’t the case, either. No team is getting any serious consideration right now and the lone team even mentioned in the Others Receiving Votes category is 20-6 Louisville, who has a measly three points.

The result is that, even if the Panthers wanted to pick up a statement win, that chance mostly went out the window after the team’s September 8th loss to Western Kentucky, the last of those four matches I told you about earlier. They aren’t ranked, either, but they’re really close at No. 27 in the latest poll.

Of course, if Pitt were to play a better team, there’s no guarantee they’d win. The Panthers lost matches to both Louisville and NC State in conference play. All three teams are 14-2 in the ACC and in a three-way logjam at the top of the conference. But without even having the chance to pick up a statement win, the Panthers are ultimately missing out on a resume booster.

That’s just another reason why it’s so crucial for the team to run the table the rest of the way. Pitt doesn’t have a great win this season and a bad loss would hurt their chances of an at-large NCAA Tournament bid if they can’t win the ACC.

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