Pitt’s No. 20 ranked volleyball team concluded a dominant opening weekend with an impressive win over Pepperdine Saturday night, 3-0.
The victory came after the team won both matchups against Butler and No. 24 Cal Poly on opening night on Friday.
Pitt looked pretty sharp on Saturday. They were challenged in the first set before pulling out a narrow 25-23 win. But they looked much better in the second, winning 25-20. They had a big lead in that set before Pepperdine went on a run to make the score more acceptable. The Panthers cruised in the third, winning 25-13 to give them their second sweep of the season. So far this year the Panthers have won nine sets, losing only one.
The Panthers were really impressive at the net where I thought they might run into some trouble. Pepperdine had a lot of size on them and I expected that to be more of a factor. But Pitt repeatedly blocked them on defense and got by their front line on offense. Hitters Nika Markovic and Kayla Lund are skilled at placing the ball where it needs to go and they both had strong games.
One point of note was that I didn’t see starter Stephanie Williams in the match. On Friday in the opener against Butler she suffered a leg injury of some sort. But she returned to play that night in the matchup against Cal Poly so it was assumed she was fine. For what it’s worth, she was dressed and out with the team. We’ll have to see if she returns next weekend. Zoi Faki again filled in for her.
We again saw a little of true freshman middle Sabrina Starks in there. It looks like she’s going to be a part of the rotation, even though she might not be used a lot this year just because Pitt returned almost everyone from last season. But the fact that she is getting any minutes at all on such an experienced team is proof that she belongs. More than anything, she showed off her blocking ability and the offensive game will come as she gets more comfortable out there.
Also saw a good bit of libero Avery Perosa in there. Like I mentioned with Levers yesterday, it’s going to be important to get Perosa time this season as Pitt loses their starting libero Angela Seman after this year. Perosa looks to be next in line there as of right now so I’m sure they’ll want to play her when they can to get her some experience.
I don’t know what the teams in front of them in the polls did this weekend but Pitt seems like a candidate to move up a little after knocking off a ranked opponent in No. 24 Cal Poly while remaining undefeated. Next weekend, Pitt travels to Seton Hall for the Seton Hall Classic where they’ll face the Pirates, Oklahoma, and VCU. None of those teams are ranked or received any votes in the opening poll of the season.