Oct. 19, 2012
PITTSBURGH - A season-high .366 hitting percentage lifted the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-10, 4-5) to a huge conference victory against St. John's University (17-7, 4-4) on Friday in a three set sweep (25-21, 25-21, 25-14) at Fitzgerald Field House.
Collectively, Pitt connected on 49 of its 101 swings and committed its fewest attacking errors of the season (49K - 12E - 101TA). Jessica Wynn tallied a match-high 12 spikes on 17 attempts, while Jasmine Dittrich joined her in double-digit kills with 11 on 20 attempts. Setters Lindsey Zitzke and Jenna Jacobson combined to dish out 39 assists, and Jacobson notched a new career-high with 19.
"I'm very pleased with the way we played tonight. We had exception focus from start to finish," head coach Toby Renssaid. "Both of our setters did a great job executing our game plan. I was very pleased with the set distribution. The attitude and effort the entire match was a good indication of what this group is about and what they are capable of doing. We did a good job of getting St. John's out of system when we were serving and we knew that was a critical factor coming into the match."
The Panthers led wire-to-wire in the first set. Dittrich registered six of her 11 kills in the frame and Pitt collected four of its seven blocks in the set. Its largest lead came on a kill by Alexa Campbell midway through the set, giving Pitt a 15-8 advantage. Kate Yeazel would eventually wrap up the frame with one of her four kills on the evening.
Wynn had a set-high five kills in the second as Pitt once again won a 25-21 decision. There were eight ties and five lead changes in the set, but the Panthers used a 4-0 run to gain a 12-8 lead, a lead Pitt would not relinquish for the remainder of the set. From there, the Red Storm would only get within two points, and Dittrich concluded the set with a kill to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at intermission.
With the third set tied at 10-10, Pitt erupted with a 10-1 run, sparked by six kills, a service ace and three SJU hitting errors. The Panthers closed out the third set with a decisive 25-14 victory.
The Panthers have now won three of their last four matches and handed St. John's its fourth-consecutive loss. SJU's Milica Krstojevic and Karin Palgutova had 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
Pitt looks to continue its momentum on Sunday when the Panthers host the Connecticut Huskies at 1 p.m. inside Fitzgerald Field House.