Pitt faced Howard in the opening round and, as expected, flat out dominated their opponent, winning 3-0.
Howard was only 20-12 coming in to this one but, as their conference champion (MEAC), you never take any of these teams lightly. But the Panthers left nothing to chance and just had a really great match.
Pitt dominated the opening set, easily winning it, 25-9. Howard had no answers for anything the Panthers did and I don’t even think they looked particularly bad. Pitt simply overwhelmed them and looked very sharp both offensively and defensively.
For what it’s worth, Howard did not go away too quietly. They had a lead in the second set but Pitt stormed back and ultimately took that one, 25-21. But in the third set, Pitt dominated Howard again, winning 25-14, taking the match in short order.
There’s really not too much to say here. Pitt just looked great and, as expected, had no real trouble with Howard. I don’t know what the final hitting total was but the Panthers were extremely efficient and were hitting over .400 to Howard’s sub-.100 figure after two sets.
Overall, it’s just great to get out of here not only seemingly injury-free but also with little trouble. The Panthers’ next match is tomorrow and you’d hate for them to have had a longer, more tiresome match. It’s the fourth straight year the Panthers have won their NCAA Tournament opener.
Next up for Pitt, the Panthers will face Cincinnati to get to the Sweet 16. The Bearcats will be a big underdog as Pitt faced them earlier this year and swept them, 3-0.