Nov. 16, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Jessica Wynn tied a career-high with 19 kills, including a school record 10 in one set, but the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (17-14) dropped a four set decision to tournament host Marquette (25-5) on Friday evening (14-25, 25-22, 23-25, 19-25) in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament at the Al McGuire Center.
Wynn connected on 19 of her 48 attempts and also added five digs to her start line. Monica Wignot joined Wynn in double-digit kills with 10, while hitting .412 (10K - 3E - 17TA) and she added a match-high four service aces. Lindsey Zitzke had 32 assists, while Margy Acton and Zitzke led the defense with 12 and 11 digs, respectively.
"The way we responded in the second set was terrific," head coach Toby Rens said. "We were probably just a little too tight in the first set; wanted it a little too much. But then we settled into our own in the second and third set. The third set was very frustrating because we got stuck in one rotation, and we couldn't keep the momentum which was critical."
Marquette scored the first four points of the match and held the lead the entire set. Mechael Guess led the team with three kills in the frame, while MU's Holly Mertens tallied seven of her team-high 16 kills as Marquette took the opening set 25-14.
After being held without a kill in the first set, Wynn tallied five of Pitt's first seven points on spikes as the Panthers raced out to a 7-1 lead in set two. The Panthers advantage grew to 19-12 after a kill by Alexa Campbell, but Marquette would make a furious run to close within one at 23-22 as Pitt called timeout. Out of that break, Wynn tallied back-to-back kills to give the Panthers a 25-22 second set victory. Wynn had the school record 10 kills in the second set.
Marquette held a lead in the beginning of the third set until Amanda Orchard registered two straight spikes to knot the frame at 13-13. A Marquette hitting error gave Pitt its first advantage at 15-14, and the Panthers would then hold its largest lead of two on two separate occasions (17-15, 20-18). Marquette though, scored five unanswered points to go ahead 23-20. Jasmine Dittrich and Campbell then registered consecutive kills to get Pitt within one, but MU's Mertens notched a kill, and Marquette would capitalize on its second set point opportunity for the 25-23 victory.
The Golden Eagles led 11-6 in set four, but Pitt used a 6-2 run to climb back in the frame, capped off by a kill from Dittrich, which brought the score to 13-12. MU however, scored the next four points, and did not let Pitt within three for the remainder of the set. Merten's 16th kill of the night ended the fourth set, 25-19, and gave Marquette the 3-1 victory.
"I am very pleased with the seniors and how they played down the stretch of our season, and I am pleased with the group as a whole. We showed fight tonight and played some great volleyball. I thought we represented ourselves very well," Rens stated.
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