Nov. 27, 2011
SAN DIEGO, Calif.— The University of Pittsburgh women’s volleyball team recorded double figures in blocks for the 14th time this season, however the Panthers dropped a 3-1 decision to San Diego State (25-20, 19-25, 27-25 and 25-22) in the Aztec Turkey Time Tournament held at Aztec Court Saturday night.
Pitt (18-15) outblocked the Aztecs (18-10), 13-10. The Panthers finished the season with 300.5 blocks while boasting a +83.5 advantage over its opponents.
Senior Kiesha Leggs tallied match-highs with 17 kills and eight rejections. Leggs assisted on 117 blocks this season, which ties Jessica Moses (2007) for sixth overall on the single-season block assist list.
Pitt also recorded five aces to San Diego State’s two. The Panthers finished the season with 197 on the year, marking the best single-year total in the last 10 seasons.
Freshman Lindsey Zitzke led Pitt with three aces. As a result, she tied Diana Andreyko’s total of 53 aces (2005) for third overall on the single-season record list in that category. Zitzke also posted her team-leading eighth double-double of the season with 39 assists and 10 digs.
In her first start as the squad’s libero, junior Alexa Campbell collected 15 digs, while freshman Mechael Guess chipped in a career-high 11.
The Aztecs held a 16-6 lead in the first set after scoring eight unanswered points. The Panthers called a timeout to regroup. After the chat, Pitt chipped away at the gap with a kill from senior Lauren Hartman and an ace served by Campbell.
A few plays later, Leggs combined on back-to-back blocks with Guess and Zitzke. Leggs put down a kill soon thereafter, as the Panthers trailed 20-13. That play began a 7-3 spurt that closed the gap to 23-20. San Diego State, however, halted the rally with a kill and block to take the early 1-0 lead in the match. Campbell recorded five digs and Leggs had four kills in the opener.
Next, Pitt won the first two serves of the second game with a kill from Leggs and a block from Leggs and Hartman.
The Panthers extended their lead to five, 12-7, and forced the Aztecs to take a timeout. After the break, a kill from sophomore Monica Wignot kept the lead at five. Wignot finished the match with 12 kills.
San Diego State pulled within three, four times, but consecutive kills from Leggs and Guess put Pitt ahead by five, 20-15, again.
Both teams traded the next four serves, until Hartman and Leggs combined on another block for a 23-17 advantage. On the following volley, the Aztecs committed a hitting error to give the Panthers set point. SDSU scored two more points, before committing a serving error that handed Pitt the victory and evened the match at one game each. The Panthers hit at .391 while limiting the Aztecs to .179 in that stanza.
In the third set, Pitt trailed by as many as four before a block from Zitzke and Leggs tied the frame at 12-12. The Panthers pulled away when Zitzke served two straight aces for a 16-14 lead.
Later, sophomore Brenea White and Hartman combined on a block to lead 19-17. The Aztecs, however, gained momentum and knotted the score at 20.
Both teams battled through the next 10 serves, as junior Jasmine Dittrich notched her 14th solo block of the season to tie the contest at 25. San Diego State was held on set point three times, before it earned two kills to take a 2-1 edge in the match. Campbell made a game-high seven passes and Zitzke assisted on 13 of Pitt’s 15 kills.
In the fourth set, both teams were deadlocked at 13-13 until the Aztecs strung together a 7-3 run. The Panthers responded with a kill from Leggs.
Later freshman Jessica Wynn's kill pulled Pitt within two, 21-19. The Panthers trailed by two, three times, including an ace from Guess (23-21) and a kill from Wignot (24-22). That, however, would be as close as Pitt would get as San Diego State held off the surge with a 4-3 tally to end the match. Freshman Cassandra Congemi and Zitzke registered three digs in the stanza.
Dittrich and Guess chipped in five kills each in the match.