Pitt’s volleyball team had an impressive 13-match winning streak earlier this season. Now they’re working on another run of victories. The Panthers defeated Florida State on Sunday in an impressive 3-0 win to give them three straight. Overall, Pitt is now 19-6 and 12-2 in the ACC.
Pitt swept the match but it was pretty competitive. The Panthers narrowly won the first set (25-22) and the second set (25-20) before winning the third a bit easier (25-18).
The Panthers didn’t play their best match. They were pretty sloppy at times in striking the ball and had 28 errors on the day. That was six more than Florida State and that was one of their highest totals on the season. Stephanie Williams, Kayla Lund, Layne Van Buskirk, and Nika Markovic were the biggest offenders there, totaling for 26.
You could sense some frustration at times. There were a couple of points, for example, where Williams and Van Buskirk hit the ball extra hard trying to ensure a clean kill. But overall they did enough to win and the match was a good example of just how down Florida State (12-10 / 6-8) is this season. A better opponent probably makes more of a match out of it.
One good thing was that Chinaza Ndee got back on track a little and that was probably her best match in several weeks. She had nine kills, a solo block, and was in on several blocks. That’s the most kills she’s had in a while and, unlike some of the other big hitters on the team, she wasn’t plagued by a lot of the hitting errors (she had two). I think Pitt has been a little inconsistent in the middle with her and Van Buskirk lately but they both made some plays.
Next up is Pitt’s last homestand of the regular season. They play Wake Forest and Duke this weekend and have a total of six matches left. The schedule sets up pretty nicely for Pitt from here on out as this was the last pretty big weekend. If they don’t show up to play, they can easily drop a match to a team like Duke. But there’s no one left on the schedule that they probably shouldn’t beat.
The bad news is that, because of that, their RPI won’t really be helped. The best thing they can do is take these six matches to avoid an upset loss, which could do some damage to their NCAA Tournament seeding. And as of now, the Panthers should be in.
In the ACC, the Panthers also remain in a three-way tie with Louisville and NC State for first place. It looked like they were going to get some help from Duke who was up 2-0 over Louisville this weekend but the Blue Devils then dropped three straight sets and lost.