Aug. 24, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team opened its season with a 3-1 victory against George Washington on Friday afternoon (25-20, 15-25, 25-21, 25-17) at the Mortar Board Premier hosted by Purdue University.
The Panthers are back in action tomorrow with two contests against nationally-ranked opponents. Pitt and No. 21 Northern Iowa square off at 10:00 a.m., which will be followed by a match against No. 9 Purdue at 7:00 p.m. Fans can follow live stats for both matches and can listen to the match against Purdue by clicking here.
Junior outside hitter Monica Wignot led the Panthers with a match-high 16 kills on 42 swings. She and Lindsey Zitzke each recorded double-doubles as Wignot notched 10 digs, while Zitzke dished out 34 assists and had 12 digs. Seniors Jasmine Dittrich and Margy Acton anchored the defense as Dittrich had five blocks at the net and Acton tallied a team-best 16 digs.
"I thought today was a typical first match," Pitt Head Coach Toby Rens said. "It was hard to find a rhythm, but our defense anchored us and did a good job extending some rallies especially in the third and fourth sets by helping us transition into offense and keeping our middles and outsides involved."
Pitt (1-0) opened the contest on a 6-1 run behind two service aces by Zitzke and was helped out by three hitting errors by the Colonials. George Washington would respond to tie the first set at 13 apiece, but four straight points by Pitt gave the Panthers the lead and they did not allow George Washington to get within three points for the remainder of the set to take a 1-0 advantage.
The Colonials evened the match heading into the locker room with a 25-15 second set victory. George Washington's Lauren Whyte had six spikes in the frame to help GW tie the match.
With the third set tied at 6-6, the Panthers used an 11-4 spurt to gain a 17-10 advantage. The Colonials climbed to within three at 23-20, but that would be as close as George Washington would get as Pitt took a 2-1 advantage with a 25-21 victory.
The Panthers never trailed in the fourth set and saw their largest lead balloon to as high as 10 at 20-10 when Zitzke and freshman Jessica Boddy notched a block assist at the net. Delaney Clesen ended the match with Pitt's seventh service ace of the contest.
Whyte led George Washington (0-1) with 14 kills and was joined in double-digits by Kelsey Newman and Jamie Armstrong with 12 and 10 respectively.
"Tomorrow is a great opportunity for us to see who steps up and comes to play," Rens stated. "Playing Purdue in an atmosphere that they create will only help us and I am excited to see how we respond."
Notes: Zitzke recorded her eighth-career double-double while Wignot tallied her seventh ... The Panthers had six players with at least five kills in the match ... Pittsburgh has now won each of its last two season-opening matches and three of its last four.
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