NEW ORLEANS – Career-high kills for Alexa Campbell and Jessica Boddy helped the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (7-2) rally to defeat the Tulane Green Wave (1-7) in four sets (19-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19) on Saturday at the Hertz Center on the campus of Tulane.
Campbell had a game-high 15 kills, while Boddy notched her first-career double-digit kills performance with 12. Lindsey Zitzke registered her second straight double-double with 53 assists and 14 digs. Margy Acton led the team with 19 digs while Delaney Clesen also notched double-digit digs with 14. Monica Wignot led the team in hitting percentage as she connected on nine of her 14 attempts (.571).
The Panthers got off to a rough start and found themselves trailing 9-2, forcing head coach Toby Rens into using his first timeout of the opening set. Wignot provided a spark off the bench with two kills which brought Pitt to within four at 17-13, but out of a called timeout by Tulane, the Green Wave scored the next two points and eventually took the opening set 25-19.
Pitt had a much better start the second set, jumping out to a 7-2 advantage, sparked by Campbell and Kate Yeazel who combined for five kills. The Panthers continued to control play throughout the set, stretching its advantage to as much as eight (16-8).
Jessica Wynn started to heat up as well, tallying five kills while Campbell had a team-best six spikes in the set. Jessica Boddy’s fifth kill of the contest evened the match at 1-1 as the two teams headed to the locker room tied up.
With the third set knotted 4-4, Margy Acton served four straight points, including two aces which put the Panthers in front 8-4 and forced Tulane into a timeout. The Green Wave fought back and evened the match at 12 and 14, but Campbell registered back-to-back kills, followed by a Tulane attacking error to give the Panthers a 17-14 cushion. Pitt closed the set by scoring eight of the final 12 points to take the set 25-18.
Pitt grabbed an early 6-3 lead to open the fourth set, but Tulane would stay close and tie the contest at 15-15. From there, in a race to 10, the Panthers outscored the Green Wave 10-4 to seal the victory and win their sixth match in a row. Jasmine Dittrich and Boddy had a team-high four kills in the set.
Pitt will square off with Mississippi State this afternoon in the championship match of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Collegiate Classic as both teams enter with a tournament record of 2-0. First serve is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT.
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