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No. 4 Pitt volleyball team tops Miami, FSU in trip to Florida

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Matt Hawley

The No. 4 Pitt volleyball team took a trip to the Sunshine State over the weekend to take part in a pair of ACC matchups, and the team was able to come away with a 3-1 win over Miami and another 3-1 win over Florida State.

Pitt’s first matchup was with Miami on Friday night at the James L. Knight Sports Complex, and the Hurricanes gave the Panthers an early scare, taking the first set, 25-21. That marked the first time Pitt dropped the opening set of a matchup since Aug. 28, when Washington State topped Pitt 25-18 in the first set of their tilt. However, Pitt would bounce back for a convincing 3-1 overall win, and that would be the case in Coral Gables as well.

The Panthers’ comeback began in the second set and was led by Pitt outside hitter Kayla Lund and Pitt right-side hitter Chinaza Ndee, who had seven kills each. Pitt fell behind 16-12 in that set but was able to dig out of that hole and post a 25-22 win to even the game at one set apiece. From then on, it would be all Pitt, as the Panthers posted more lopsided scores in the final two sets, winning 25-16 and 25-18, to close out the contest 3-1 overall.

On Sunday, Pitt would head to Tully Gymnasium in Tallahassee to take on Florida State. That matchup got off to a better start, as Pitt took the first set 25-20, thanks in part to another strong showing by Ndee. Ndee led the Panthers with five kills in the set, and that included back-to-back kills to secure the win. However, the Seminoles would answer in the second set with a 25-23 win closed out with back-to-back kills of their own. But the final two sets would belong to Pitt, as the Panthers put on two dominant performances late to attain 25-13 and 25-14 set wins and escape Tallahassee with a 3-1 overall win.

With the back-to-back wins, Pitt improved to 17-1 overall and 7-1 in conference. One of Pitt’s top players also hit a career milestone during the matchup with Florida State, as Lexis Akeo notched her 2,000th career assist, becoming just the 10th player in program history to achieve the feat. Next up for Pitt is a matchup with Notre Dame at Purcell Pavilion, which is set to get underway Friday at 7 p.m. ET.