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Nov. 6, 2016

Box Score

                                          
ATLANTA – The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team defeated Georgia Tech, 3-1, for the second time this season at O’Keefe Gymnasium in Atlanta Sunday afternoon.
 
With today’s victory, the Panthers [19-7, 10-4 ACC] ended the Yellow Jacket’s [20-6, 11-3 ACC] 10-game winning streak dating back to October 2, 2016.
 
Pitt won the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-18 over Georgia Tech, before falling in the third set 25-22. With a 2-1 lead, the Panthers solidified the victory with a close 26-24 win in the fourth set.
 
“I’m very pleased with how we competed today and how we stayed in the moment,” said head coach Dan Fisher. “It’s [O’Keefe Gymnasium] a tough place to play. The environment is really loud and we handled it really well.”
 
Redshirt senior Jenna Potts highlighted Pitt’s win, becoming the Panthers’ new all-time leader in career total blocks with 541. The Bernville, Pa., native earned a team-leading five blocks against the Yellow Jackets to push her past Jennie Driscoll (539) who held the record since 1996.
 
“In the last month Potts has really elevated her game,” said Fisher. “She is in a nice groove right now and it was fitting for her to reach this mark against a really good team.”
 
Offensively, Pitt was led by redshirt freshman Stephanie Williams, who tallied 22 blocks for her fifth 20-kill match of the season. The Eastlake, Ohio, native also finished with 12 digs to mark her 13th double-double of the season and concluded the match with a .372 clip and three aces.
 
Following behind Williams was freshman Nika Markovic with 15 kills. Markovic also produced a team-leading four aces, while the Panthers rounded out the match with 12 total. Junior Mariah Bell also produced double-digit kills for Pitt, putting away 12 balls for the Panthers.
 
Pitt’s other double-double came at the hands of sophomore setter Kamalani Akeo, who tallied 54 assists and 11 digs.
 
Redshirt sophomore Angela Seman led all Panthers with 13 digs.
 
Set One: Pitt 25, Georgia Tech 22
Behind seven kills by Markovic, the Panthers earned a first set 25-22 win over the Yellow Jackets to open the match.
 
Trailing early on, Pitt earned its first lead 8-7. The Panthers recorded a total of four straight points including an Akeo ace, two Markovic kills and block assist by Potts and Markovic to lead 11-7.
 
The Yellow Jackets scored six of the next eight points to come back and tie the set 13-13, but Georgia Tech was forced to use a timeout as Pitt roped off three consecutive points.
 
The Panthers remained ahead throughout the late points of the frame and earned set point 24-18 on a Maria Genitsaridi ace. Pitt had to battle for the win as the Yellow Jackets fought off four set points but their comeback fell short as a final kill by Williams would give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the match.
 
Set Two: Pitt 25, Georgia Tech 18
Phenomenal serving benefitted Pitt in the second set as the Panthers recorded eight aces to help them to a 25-18 victory.
 
After back-and-forth points to open the second frame, Pitt earned an 8-5 lead behind three consecutive Markovic aces prompting a Georgia Tech timeout. The Yellow Jackets regrouped and returned to the court to put up five straight points, moving ahead in the set 10-8.
 
The two teams battled for a lead midway through the set, which the Panthers took after going on a five-point run. Pitt led 20-15 and remained out in front the remainder of the set.
 
Set Three: Pitt 22, Georgia Tech 25
Following the break, the Panthers dropped the third set 25-22.

Pitt and Georgia Tech were knotted 7-7 in the early points of the set, but back-to-back errors on the Yellow Jackets along with a perfectly timed block by Potts and Akeo put the Panthers out in front 10-7.
 
Pitt’s lead didn’t last long as Georgia Tech came back from its first called break to outscore the Panthers 9-2 to lead by four. Pitt called back-to-back timeouts as they returned from the first only for a Georgia Tech block to prompt another. The Panthers trailed, 17-12.
 
Pitt was unable to catch the Yellow Jackets who went on to win the set, however the Panthers still held a 2-1 advantage in the match.

Set Four: Pitt 26, Georgia Tech 24
In a thrilling fourth set, Pitt defeated Georgia Tech 26-24 after the Yellow Jackets came back from a five-point deficit to tie the set at 24 all.

Falling behind 8-6 to start the fourth set, Pitt got back into the game with a five-point run to lead 11-8 and Georgia Tech called its first timeout of the frame.
 
The Panthers held a minimum two-point lead throughout the middle points of the set and even led by four at one point, however, the Yellow Jackets fought back within one 18-17.
 
Pitt never relinquished its lead prior to earning match point 24-19, but what looked like an easy win for the Panthers became a challenge as Georgia Tech remained alive with five straight points to come back and tie the match at 24 all. The Yellow Jackets’ fight came to end as Pitt registered back-to-back points to win by two.

Up Next
Pitt continues ACC action back home at the Fitzgerald Field House as Wake Forest and Duke come to town. The Panthers will take on the Demon Deacons Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. and the Blue Devils Nov. 13 at 1 p.m.
 
Pitt Defeats Georgia Tech in Four; Potts Becomes All-Time Blocks Leader

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