Pitt’s No. 8 volleyball team got off to a slow start but ultimately defeated Florida State with relative ease, 3-1. The win moves the Panthers up to 15-0 while Florida State falls to 7-7.
The Seminoles’ record isn’t great but they’ve played a tough schedule and it was their first ACC loss, dropping them to 3-1. The Panthers, meanwhile, remain perfect in the ACC at 4-0.
Florida State took the opening set, winning 25-21. I don’t think Pitt necessarily played too poorly but they had a bit of a collapse. At one point, they led 18-14 and seemed to be on their way to taking that set without too much trouble. But they allowed Florida State to make some runs and that was it.
The second set was a different story, as was the rest of the match, frankly. Pitt raced out to a quick 12-4 lead and was able to hold on for a 25-20. Florida State made the Panthers work for it a bit and made things a little interesting. But a timely sub by head coach Dan Fisher to bring in Zoi Faki was a great move as she came in and recorded a kill to end a Florida State run and take control of things.
Pitt then cruised in both the third and fourth sets, winning 25-13 and 25-17.
Layne Van Buskirk was all over the place for Pitt and played one of her better matches of her career. She’s generally a great player, anyway, and one of the ACC’s most efficient scorers. But she really carried the Panthers up front did a lot offensively and defensively today. She ended the day with a career best 16 kills and several blocks to go along with that. Her game today is one of the reasons Pitt is so dangerous, really. The Panthers have at least four players fully capable of leading the team on any given night.
I thought Florida State was great defensively early on. Several of Pitt’s kill attempts were shots that were dug out and a lot of those are ones that typically would have gone down against other teams. The Panthers also had a lot of trouble getting shots past Florida State’s front line. But beyond that initial set, the Panthers had very little trouble.
Pitt doesn’t have many great teams left on the schedule and none are ranked. But Florida State figures to be one of the better ones in the ACC so this was a pretty strong showing.
Next up for the Panthers, they’ll take on Syracuse on Friday and Boston College on Sunday. Both contests will also be at home.