Oct. 11, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Pitt volleyball suffered a 3-0 loss to Miami at the Knight Sports Complex on Friday night. The Panthers (11-7, 3-2 ACC) will wrap up their swing through the Sunshine State on Sunday with an afternoon bout with No. 21 Florida State.
Pitt trailed Miami (12-3, 5-0 ACC) from the outset and ultimately fell by the 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 score. It was the Panthers' first three-set loss in ACC play.
Pitt hung around and kept things close with Miami, although the final set scores didn't always show just how tight a match it was. In each of the first two sets, the Hurricanes' largest leads didn't come until the last point.
In the first, Pitt held the scoring advantage through the first half of play and even led by as many as four after a kill from Jessica Wynn made it 8-4. Miami took its first lead of the frame at 12-11. Although it never let it go, it also never extended beyond three points until the final stretch when it went on a 6-0 run to end the set. The Hurricanes tallied four kills and two aces during that stretch to give them the seven-point decision.
Miami then led throughout the second set with the exception of a handful of ties Pitt forced. The Panthers knotted things up at six all, followed by ties at 9-9, 10-10, 11-11 and 12-12. Another quick run from the Hurricanes gave them a cushion they had been lacking, however, and the Panthers were never able to completely overcome trailing by four at 16-12.
Through each of those two sets, Pitt's offense just couldn't quite keep pace with Miami's. The Panthers totaled eight kills with three errors on 28 attempts, giving them a .179 attack percentage in the first set, while the Hurricanes closed out at 16 kills with three errors and 30 attempts for a .433 clip. The second set didn't get much better as Pitt hit .057 (12-10-35) with Miami at .333 (11-2-27).
The intermission didn't do much to help the Panthers turn it around although its hitting efficiency did improve. Pitt hit .370 in the third and ultimately finished the match at a .189 pace.
Just as had been the case earlier, the score was as close as could be in the beginning. Just as Miami had done earlier as well, it used a run to create just enough space to close things out with a win. After an 8-8 tie, the Hurricanes took six straight points. Pitt came within three points at 18-15 and made a few pushes later in the match, but fell short each time.
Three Hurricanes finished their night with double-digit kills. Alex Johnson, Misty Ma'A and Savanah Leaf each totaled 10. Blair Fuentez posted 33 assists. As a team, Miami led in the blocking category with seven compared to three for Pitt.
Having dropped a five-set decision to Virginia last Saturday, Pitt has not lost back-to-back matches for the first time this year.
Match time in Pitt's upcoming match against Florida State in Tallahassee is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen live on ROOT Sports and ESPN3.
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