Nov. 10, 2013
PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (13-14, 5-9 ACC) dropped a hard-fought, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 21-25), contest to No. 15 Duke (22-3, 13-1 ACC) this afternoon at Fitzgerald Field House.
"It's kind of the story of the season so far," said head coach Dan Fisher. "We're competing with the best in the Conference and today we just didn't pull it out. We know we can play with anyone but, in this Conference, the margin of victory is so small that one or two points in every set is a big deal."
For the match, the Panthers were led by Jessica Wynn and Monica Wignot who tallied 16 and 15 kills respectively. Delaney Clesen had a strong match for Pitt on the defensive end tallying a team-best 24 digs. With the 24 digs, Clesen has passed the 1,000 dig mark in her career.
After dropping the first set 25-22, Pitt responded strongly in the second. The Panthers jumped out to an early 7-1 lead behind a trio of kills from Jenna Potts and strong serving from Maria Genitsaridi. Duke was able to cut into the lead at 12-9 before Fisher called timeout and calmed the nerves. From there, the Panthers were able to use a balanced attack to close out the set, 25-20 on a Genitsaridi spike. Mechael Guess was the key to the run as she tallied a team-best six kills in the second set.
Coming out of the lockerroom, the Panthers again came out of the gates strong getting ahead 6-1 behind a pair of kills from Wignot and solid serving from Genitsaridi. Pitt was able to keep the lead until Duke evened the score at 18-18. The squads then exchanged the next nine points before the Blue Devils were able to take a two point lead and force set point at 24-22. The Panthers did not back down and quickly cut the lead to one on a kill from Wynn. Pitt thought it had squared the set at 24-24 on a Wignot kill but the referee ruled a controversial net violation on the Panthers and the set went to Duke, 25-23.
In the fourth, the squads went back-and-forth before Duke eventually pulled away at the end to secure a 25-21 set victory and 3-1 match victory.
Pitt will return to action on Friday, Nov. 15, when they travel to Syracuse for a 7 p.m. contest.