The No. 9 ranked Pitt volleyball team opened ACC play tonight against Virginia and swept the Cavaliers in straight sets, 3-0.
Pitt (12-0) dominated the first set, winning 25-17. The second set, though, was a different story. The Panthers got behind early and trailed by as much as nine at one point. Pitt had to make two big runs to get back in it and incredulously found a way to come back to win, 25-23. You don’t see many comebacks of that magnitude in a particular set and it was incredible to watch.
Pitt again had to come back in the third set, though not as dramatically. The Panthers were down by three points and fought back to win that one, 25-21, to close things out. Virginia, as you might gather from giving up those leads, was pretty sloppy. They weren’t too bad but allowed Pitt to string together points and also had serving issues. They came in only 4-6 on the season so it was one of those matches that might concern you if Pitt had too much trouble.
Noteworthy is that freshman Sabrina Starks got a third straight start as Pitt was again without Nika Markovic who is out with an elbow injury, as mentioned in the broadcast. Pitt is winning without her but you clearly don’t want her out too long.
Pitt’s going to run some new players out there in her absence and tonight, Junior hitter Alix Dreier played quite a bit more than usual in addition to Starks continuing to start. We’ve also seen Zoi Faki in there earlier in the year when Stephanie Williams missed a few games. Those players will have a hard time getting into the rotation if Pitt is fully healthy but it’s great to get them some work because, as we’ve seen this year already, injuries come up and different players could be needed at crucial times this season. Dreier did a really nice job in there tonight. Just goes to show you how deep Pitt really is.
Next up for Pitt is the first ACC road match as they’ll travel to Virginia Tech on Friday. That match will be on WatchESPN at 6:00 p.m.