Oct. 26, 2012
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Jessica Wynn and Monica Wignot had a team-high nine kills, but the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-12, 4-7) lost in four sets to the University of Notre Dame (16-6, 9-1) on Friday evening (23-25, 25-20, 11-25, 14-25) in front of 1,673 fans at the Joyce Center.
Wignot connected on nine of her 16 swings for a team-high .438 hitting percentage and also added three blocks. Jenna Jacobson had a team-high 19 assists and added eight digs, while Margy Acton led the team with 10 digs.
Three Notre Dame players had double-digit kills, led by Toni Alugbue with 14. ND setter Maggie Brindock had 43 assists, eight kills and seven blocks. Notre Dame, the top blocking team in the Big East, tallied 19 total blocks on the evening.
After Pittsburgh took a timeout with Notre Dame leading 9-5 in the first set, the Panthers scored five straight points to gain a 10-9 lead. From there, the set was tied 12 times, but with the score deadlocked at 22-22, the Fighting Irish recorded back-to-back kills for a two point lead. Kate Yeazel brought Pitt back within one, but Brindock ended the set with a kill for Notre Dame.
Both Mechael Guess and Wignot connected on four of their six swings in the set. Pitt had six leads in the frame, but none were more than one point.
Notre Dame scored the first three points to open the second set, but Alexa Campbell sparked a 7-2 Pitt run with three kills and forced the Irish into a timeout with the Panthers leading 7-5. The Irish fought back and evened the set at 12, but Pitt scored three of the next four points to make ND burn its second timeout of the set with the Panthers leading 16-13.
Pitt would stretch its largest lead to six at 23-17 on a block assist by Guess and Jasmine Dittrich, and eventually took the second set by a score of 25-20 on another block by Dittrich to even the score at one set apiece heading into the locker room. Dittrich had three of her four blocks in the second frame.
Notre Dame opened the third set with an early 8-4 lead, but the Panthers answered with a 4-1 run capped off by a kill from Wynn. However, the Fighting Irish scored seven of the next eight points as Pitt took its second timeout of the set trailing 16-9. Notre Dame kept the pressure on and took the third set 25-11. Alugbue of the Fighting Irish had five kills and four blocks in the set.
The Fighting Irish scored the first three points of the fourth set and held the lead for the entire set. After Pitt called a timeout down 14-9, the Panthers used a 3-1 run to get within three at 15-12, but Notre Dame scored the next three points to regain control of the set at 18-12. The Irish eventually wrapped up the 3-1 victory on a hitting Pitt hitting error.
Pitt looks to bounce back with a victory on Sunday afternoon when the Panthers head to Chicago for a tilt with DePaul. First serve is set for 3 p.m. EST.
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