Nov. 8, 2013
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-13, 5-8 ACC) earned a hard-fought 3-2 (26-24, 23-25, 25-22, 25-27, 15-11) victory Wake Forest (15-10, 4-9 ACC) this evening at Fitzgerald Field House.
"We knew it would be a battle and it was," said Pitt head coach Dan Fisher. "It was nice to finally pull off one of these close ones so we're very pleased with the result."
The Panthers were led by Monica Wignot who tallied a team-best 22 kills and added 13 digs for her first double-double of the year. Lindsey Zitzke also registered a double-double for Pitt with 29 assists and 10 digs.
In the first set, the two teams showed how close the match would be as they exchanged points for the first 17 points of the match. The Panthers were able to jump out to two point leads at 13-11 and 17-15 but the Demon Deacons continued to battle back into the match. Finally, with the match square at 24-24, Jenna Potts delivered a monster kill off an over pass and assisted on the set clinching block with Maria Gentisaridi to give Pitt the first set victory.
After Wake evened the match by taking the second set by a narrow 25-23 margin, the Panthers rebounded with a 25-22 victory in the third. The third set was one of runs as Pitt jumped out to an early 5-0 lead behind strong serving from Gentisaridi and a balanced offensive attack only to fall behind 15-11 a few points later. Following a timeout by Coach Fisher, the Panthers retook control of the set by running off 11 of the next 15 points to gain a 22-18 edge. Wake Forest would not give in and got the score back to 24-22 before Potts ended the set with another crushing spike.
A tough-loss in a 27-25 fourth set sent the match to a deciding fifth set where Pitt quickly jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind clutch serving from Delaney Clesen and a few Demon Deacon errors. The Panthers pushed their lead to 7-4 on a Wignot ace before Wake Forest used a timeout to calm its nerves. The timeout worked as the Deamon Deacons got the score back to 7-6 but a kill from Gentisaridi gave Pitt a little bit of breathing room and got the ball in the hands of Amanda Orachard at the service line where the sophomore delivered, helping the Panthers score the next six points highlighted by a pair of key aces. An attack error by Wake got Pitt to match point and the Panthers were able to close out the match on their first chance as Jessica Wynn sent a blistering kill across the court for the match clinching point.
Pitt will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 10, when it welcomes Duke (21-3, 12-1 ACC) to Fitzgerald Field House for a 1 p.m. contest that will air live on ESPN3.