PITTSBURGH – Amanda Orchard and Kate Yeazel each recorded career-highs in kills as the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (3-2) defeated the Howard Bison (0-3) in straight sets (25-12, 25-11, 25-20) in its second match of the Pittsburgh Panthers Invitational at Fitzgerald Field House on Saturday.
Orchard tallied seven spikes, while Yeazel had five kills on six attempts (.833 hitting percentage). Seniors Alexa Campbell and Jasmine Dittrich had a team-best nine kills each, while setter Lindsey Zitzke had 28 assists and eight digs.
With the Bison leading 5-3 early on in the first set, the Panthers used a 7-1 run to take control of the set and forced Howard into calling its first timeout of the frame. After Howard’s early lead, Pitt outscored the Bison 22-7 and finished with a .393 hitting percentage, led by Jasmine Dittrich who hit an astounding .857 (6K – 0E – 7TA).
Pittsburgh dominated the second set from the opening serve and never trailed once in the frame. Its largest lead grew to as much as 14 at 23-9. Howard offense gave away nine free points in the set on its way to hitting a -.120 (6K – 9E – 25 TA).
The third set was more competitive, and with Howard leading 18-16, it forced Pitt into a called timeout. The timeout proved to be effective as the Panthers scored the next four points to regain the lead as Howard called a timeout. Campbell took over down the stretch, registering four of her nine kills after the Pitt timeout.
The Panthers are back in action tonight at 7 p.m. with the tournament title on the line against Butler. Both teams enter the contest with a 2-0 weekend record. Fans can follow live stats and a live blog by logging on to the Tournament Central Page.