Nov. 18, 2011
MILWAUKEE, Wisc.—Despite a pair of double-doubles from senior Kiesha Leggs and freshman Jessica Wynn, No. 8 seed Pitt dropped a 3-1 decision to top-seeded Louisville in the quarterfinals of the Big East Women’s Volleyball Championship held at the Al McGuire Center on Friday afternoon.
On the heels of being named an All-Big East selection, Leggs posted her first double-double of the season with a career-high 12 blocks and 11 kills in the match. Leggs became the fifth Panthers in program history to record more than 400 kills and 100 blocks in a single season. She is the first since to accomplish that feat since Meghan Dooley in 2009 (434 kills/168 blocks).
Wynn collected the first double-double of her career with a season-best 19 digs and team-high 12 kills. This is the third time this season, two Panthers have posted double-doubles in the same contest, as freshman Lindsey Zitzke and sophomore Monica Wignot did so against both West Virginia (Oct. 15) and Duquesne (Nov. 9).
Zitzke recorded 32 assists on Pitt’s 38 kills in the match. She added seven digs, five blocks and an ace. Zitzke is listed fifth overall on the single-season list with 47 aces this season.
As a team, the Panthers (18-13) outblocked Louisville, 15-7, including 10-0 in the third and fourth games combined. Pitt also served four aces and boast 187 on the year.
In the first set, Wignot scored the Panthers’ third point of the match with an ace, her 41st of the season. Wignot is currently tied for eighth in single-season aces.
As play continued, Pitt scored back-to-back points with a kill from Wignot and a block from senior Lauren Hartman
and Leggs to trail 11-8.
At the first break, the Cardinals (22-7) led by four, 15-11. The Panthers earned a sideout on the next play with a kill from Wynn. However, Louisville scored six straight to force a Pitt timeout.
Freshman Mechael Guess entered the match and put down a kill a few plays later to end the scoring drought. Louisville, however, responded with a 3-0 run to end the frame. Zitzke tallied an assist on all eight of the Panthers’ kills in the opener.
In the next set, Leggs recorded consecutive kills for Pitt early on. Later, she and Zitzke combined on a block to trail by one, 12-11, and force Louisville to take its first timeout of the match.
When play resumed, Wignot knotted the stanza with an ace and Leggs leaped up for a kill to give the Panthers their first advantage in the contest.
Both teams battled through the next few serves until the Cards held a 20-16 advantage. Pitt cut the lead to 22-20 after scoring consecutive points with a block from Leggs and Zitzke and a Wynn kill. Louisville called a timeout and answered with three straight to win the set. Wynn collected six digs and freshman Delaney Clesen added another five in game. Clesen chipped in 15 digs and two assists in the match.
In the third game, Clesen gave the Panthers an 8-5 edge with her 31st ace of the year. Later, Leggs and freshman Kate Yeazel combined on a monster block for an 11-7 advantage.
Louisville closed the gap to two, 16-14, but Leggs pounded a kill off defenders to pull back out. As play continued, Pitt scored four straight to go ahead 20-14 on an ace from Zitzke.
Both teams traded points over the next few serves, until the Cardinals scored eight unanswered to take a 23-22 advantage. Pitt called a timeout and tied the contest with a kill from Leggs.
The Panthers regained the lead and held set-point for the second time after Guess tallied a kill. Pitt won the stanza with a block from sophomore Brenea White and Zitzke. The Panthers held Louisville to just .143 hitting and out-blocked the Cards, 5-0 in the third game. Leggs tallied five kills in the stanza and Wynn made eight passes.
In the fourth game, the Panthers rejected consecutive swings from the Cardinals to hold a slight advantage, 6-5.
Later, Louisville led 17-12 when Pitt decided to take a timeout. The Panthers cut it to three with a block from Leggs and Yeazel at 22-19. However, the Cards would end the match on a 3-1 run.
The Panthers put down another five blocks in the final set. Leggs had a game-high three in the contest.
Pitt will travel to San Diego, Calif. on Nov. 26-27 for two matches in the Aztec Turkey Time Tournament, hosted by San Diego State. The Panthers face TCU at 7:30 p.m. in its first contest.