Oct. 8, 2011
PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh women’s volleyball team recorded 46 digs, but it was not enough as the Panthers dropped a 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-20) contest to Notre Dame at Fitzgerald Field House on Saturday afternoon. The match marked Pitt’s annual ‘Dig Pink’ event, benefiting breast cancer awareness month.
Junior Margy Acton led the squad with a match-high 18 digs while freshman Delaney Clesen chipped in nine digs. Senior Kiesha Leggs put down a match-high 11 kills amd freshman Mechael Guess recorded six kills and two blocks.
Additionally, freshman Lindsey Zitzke collected 29 assists on Pitt’s 31 kills. She also posted four digs, two aces and a kill.
Trailing 8-2 in the first set of the match, the Panthers (12-7, 2-3 Big East) got a kill from Zitzke when she attacked a pass from Acton.
The Fighting Irish (9-6, 2-3 Big East) continued to push and pulled to an 18-7 edge, forcing Pitt to take its second timeout of the game. After the break, Notre Dame won two of the next three serves.
Head coach Toby Rens would then make a substitution as junior Alex Phillips entered and gave the Panthers a lift with three kills. Down 22-12 in the frame, Pitt committed an error before sophomore Brenea White collected one of her two kills in the match.
Notre Dame, however, would close out the set by winning the final two volleys. Acton recorded a set-high six digs in the opener, while Zitzke tallied an assist on the 10 Pitt kills.
Tied at 8-8 in the second set, Notre Dame went on an 11-3 run that concluded with a service ace.
As play continued, the Panthers took advantage of three Irish errors and a kill from sophomore Monica Wignot to pull to five at 20-15. Notre Dame would capture five of the game’s next nine points of the frame. Leggs tallied a set-high five kills and Acton added a set-high five digs in the game.
In the third set, the Panthers battled back to hold an 11-8 advantage, following a string of four serves by Leggs. Pitt recorded two blocks during the rally, including a solo rejection by White and a combined block from Guess and White.
Later, Zitzke served her Big East leading 33rd ace of the season. That point forced the Irish to huddle with Pitt ahead, 14-10.
After the timeout, momentum shifted as Notre Dame used a 6-2 spurt to knot the match at 16. Pitt decided to regroup with a timeout, but the Irish answered with a 4-0 rally.
A block from junior Jasmine Dittrich and White ended the streak and cut the deficit to 20-17. However, Notre Dame ended the match on a 5-3 run to secure its straight-set victory.
Pitt collected three aces and six blocks in the contest. White led the squad with five blocks for the fifth time this season.
The Panthers face DePaul at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Fitzgerald Field House.