CLEVELAND - Margy Acton had a season-high 23 digs and Mechael Guess had a season-best 10 kills to lead the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (5-2) past Cleveland State (5-3) in straight sets (28-26, 26-24, 25-18) on Tuesday evening at Woodling Gym.
The Panthers extended their unbeaten sets streak to 12 as Pitt recorded its fourth consecutive three set sweep. Also setting a season-high was Lindsey Zitzke with 36 assists. Delaney Clesen and Alexa Campbell joined Acton with double-digit digs and Jessica Wynn had 10 kills.
As the two teams jockeyed for control early on in the first set, a service error by CSU's Maggie Hannon gave the Panthers an 8-7 lead. Pitt would then hold the lead until the Vikings used a 3-0 run to tie the frame at 15 apiece. After each team tallied two points, a 5-1 Panthers run gave Pitt a 22-18 advantage, however, the Vikings used a 4-0 spurt of their own to tie the set at 22.
The Panthers gained the lead back and had four set point opportunities before a CSU ball handling error ultimately gave the Pitt the set, 28-26. Jessica Boddy, Campbell and Wynn each had three kills in the frame.
A couple of early kills by Jasmine Dittrich jumpstarted the Pitt offense that raced out to a 9-4 advantage in the second set, forcing a CSU timeout. Pitt maintained its lead as the Vikings took its final timeout of the frame with the Panthers leading 14-9.
The Vikings slowly chipped away and eventually took the lead (20-19) on a kill by the Kara Koch, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week. The Panthers though, kept their poise and captured the set with a kill from Boddy and an attacking error by CSU, 26-24.
Trailing 3-1 early in the third set, Pitt scored five unanswered to surge ahead 6-3. The Vikings would call its second time out with the Panthers lead 11-5 but it would not be enough as Pitt dominated the frame. The Panthers largest lead grew to nine on two different occasions and Pitt went on to secure the victory with a 25-18 third set triumph.
Pittsburgh looks to extend its winning streak this coming weekend as the Panthers take part in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic hosted by Tulane. Pitt will play the host Green Wave along with Sam Houston State and Mississippi State in New Orleans.
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