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No. 2 Pitt volleyball team sweeps Virginia and Duke

Matt Hawley

The No. 2 Pitt volleyball team hosted ACC rivals Virginia and Duke at the Fitzgerald Field House late last week, and the Panthers made quick work of both opponents, as they swept the Cavaliers on Wednesday and repeated the feat against the Blue Devils on Friday.

Pitt was aggressive early against Virginia, as the Panthers killed three of the Cavaliers’ first four attempts and shot out to a 4-0 lead. That would turn into a 10-4 advantage before Virginia began to fight back, but while the Cavaliers were able to pull within one point, the Panthers ended the set on a 5-1 run to take a 25-19 win. Virginia continued to show fight in the second set, gaining a 3-2 lead early. But Pitt bounced back with a 16-2 run that made it 18-5 and would take the set 25-15. The third set would follow almost the same script as the second, as the Cavaliers led early once more. But again, Pitt regained the lead, and thanks in part to five kills by Kayla Lund, the Panthers were able to pull off another 25-15 set win and finish off the Cavaliers 3-0.

Two days later, Duke would provide Pitt with a slightly greater challenge, but the result would be the same. The game began with a hard-fought first set that saw four ties and two lead changes. However, Kayla Lund proved to be the difference, as she came up with eight kills in the opening frame and led Pitt to a 25-20 set win. Duke would earn an 11-6 advantage in the second set, but Pitt would fight its way back and log a 25-19 win, thanks in part to four additional kills by Lund. And in the third set, Pitt would break an early 1-1 tie, gain the lead, and run with it, never looking back en route to a 25-20 set win and a 3-0 sweep of the Blue Devils. All told, Lund posted a match-high 14 kills.

With the pair of sweeps, Pitt improved to 14-0 on the season and 4-0 in conference play. However, it appears the Panthers will remain at No. 2 in the nation for now, as No. 1 Texas remains undefeated as well at 11-0. Next up for Pitt is a matchup with Clemson on Friday, followed by a top-25 matchup with Georgia Tech on Sunday. Both games will take place at the Fitzgerald Field House, with the first set to get underway Friday at 5 p.m. ET.