PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team earned its first ACC win of the season as the squad defeated Georgia Tech 3-1 Friday evening at the Fitzgerald Field House.
The Panthers [10-3, 1-0 ACC] opened the match with a 26-24 victory in set one, but dropped set two to the Yellow Jackets [9-4, 0-1 ACC] 25-21. After the intermission, Pitt bounced back to take the final two, 25-19 and 25-21.
“It feels really good to take this one,” said head coach Dan Fisher. “I know it’s early but this is one of the best teams in the league. I have a feeling that we are going to look back and say that this was a pretty big win.”
Pitt’s offense was the key to its victory, tallying 68 kills and a .294 hitting percentage. The Panthers were led by redshirt Freshman Stephanie Williams with 21 kills, while juniors Mariah Bell and Kelsey O’Neill added 16 and 10 respectively.
Pitt had three players reach double-doubles tonight including Williams (21 kills, 11 digs), Bell (16 kills, 13 digs) and sophomore setter Kamalani Akeo (56 asssists, 11 digs). Bell also added three of the Panthers’ eight service aces.
Set One: Pitt 26, Georgia Tech 24
- Following a great start by Pitt to open the match with a 7-3 lead, it wasn’t long before Georgia Tech fought its way back into the match to trail just 17-15.
- Following a Panthers’ timeout, Pitt regained a three point lead but struggled to hold off the Yellow Jackets who trailed by just a single point 22-21 late in the match.
- Following a second timeout by the Panthers, Georgia Tech tied the match three different times in the final points of the set but Pitt persevered and ended the frame with a back to back kill and block.
Set Two: Pitt 21, Georgia Tech 25
- The two teams opened the second set in a battle, sending shots back and forth to tie the frame six different times before the Yellow Jackets separated themselves by three, 15-12.
- The Panthers called a timeout to slow Georgia Tech as they were down by three but just minutes later Pitt asked for another break as the Yellow Jackets led extended their lead to four, 18-14.
- Georgia Tech regrouped with a late timeout as the Panthers began to pick up some momentum but it wasn’t enough as the Yellow Jackets went on to tie the match 1-1.
Set Three: Pitt 25, Georgia Tech 19
- Pitt and Georgia Tech remained in a tight race through most of the third set as the largest lead was just three points in the Panthers favor. However midway through the set the two teams were knotted 16-16.
- The set looked as if it would come down to the wire though Pitt found a rhythm scoring the final four points in consecutive order.
Set Four: Pitt 25, Georgia Tech 21
- The Panthers and Yellow Jackets opened with yet another close score in the fourth set until attack errors began to haunt Georgia Tech. Back to back hitting errors called for the Yellow Jackets to use their first timeout, while three more in consecutive order just points later gave Pitt a 15-10 lead and forced Georgia Tech to ask for another break.
- Pitt called two cautionary timeouts through the final points as the Yellow Jackets threatened to make a comeback but it wouldn’t be enough as the Panthers would hold on to win 25-21.
- Pitt will continue ACC play at home on Sunday, Sep. 25 at 1 p.m. when the Panthers welcome the Clemson Tigers.
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