Oct. 21, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Three Panthers had double-digit kills, but the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-11, 4-6) suffered a heartbreaking conference loss to the University of Connecticut (14-10, 5-4) in four sets on Sunday afternoon (21-25, 27-25, 24-26, 21-25) at Fitzgerald Field House.
Jessica Wynn led the team with 13 kills, while Monica Wignot and Jasmine Dittrich recorded 11 and 10 spikes, respectively. Kate Yeazel tied her career-high with six block assists, and setter Lindsey Zitzke tallied her ninth double-double of the season with 33 assists and 13 digs. Margy Acton had a team-best 17 digs.
UConn used an early 5-0 run to grab an 8-3 lead in the opening set. The Panthers got within two at 11-9 on a kill by Yeazel, but the Huskies stretched its advantage back to five at 17-12 and forced Pitt into its second timeout of the frame. The Panthers climbed within one at 21-20 after a UConn hitting error, but the Huskies scored four of the final five points for the opening set 25-21 victory.
In a set that featured 19 ties and eight lead changes, the Panthers captured a hard-fought 27-25 second set victory to even the contest at 1-1 heading into intermission. Neither team gained more than a two point advantage in the frame, and with UConn leading 21-19, back-to-back kills from Dittrich and Amanda Orchard evened the set. The score would then be tied at four more times until a UConn hitting error and a kill by Yeazel ended the set.
It looked as though Pittsburgh would take a 2-1 lead as the Panthers were ahead 20-13 in the third set, but Connecticut grabbed momentum and rallied by outscoring Pittsburgh 13-4 down the stretch to win the frame 26-24. During that span, Connecticut used a 6-0 run to even the set at 22-22, and then eventually scored the final two points of frame to complete the comeback.
Pitt held an early 6-2 lead in the fourth set, but Connecticut surged ahead with an 8-0 run and took a 10-6 lead. The Panthers regained the lead at 17-16 and stretched it to 21-19, but UConn scored the final six points to win the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Pittsburgh hit .171 on the afternoon (55K – 26E – 170TA), while UConn posted a .199 hitting clip (56K – 23E – 166TA). The Huskies had four players reach double-digit kills, let by Devon Maugle with a match-best 17.
The Panthers look to rebound next weekend with two conference road matches beginning at Notre Dame on Friday evening, followed by a Sunday afternoon clash with DePaul in Chicago.
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