Maria Genitsaridi and the Panthers host Virginia Tech and Virginia this weekend.
Oct. 1, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- After a 2-0 start in the ACC, Pitt volleyball will try to keep the success rolling this weekend when it hosts Virginia Tech (Friday) and Virginia (Saturday) at 7 p.m. at Fitzgerald Field House. Also for the second consecutive week, the Panthers can be seen on ESPN3 when they take on the Hokies to open October action.
HISTORY VS. VIRGINIA TECH & VIRGINIA:
Pitt has a winning record against both of its weekend opponents, but the last meeting between the Panthers and each foe ended in a loss. Pitt has a 3-2 advantage in the series with Virginia Tech despite a straight-sets loss in 2003. A five-match winning streak against Virginia was snapped in 1996 when the Cavaliers won in four sets, but Pitt still leads in that series as well, 5-1.
SMASHING ACC START:
The Panthers could not have asked for a better debut in the Atlantic Coast Conference as they defeated Clemson and Georgia Tech 3-0 in their first-ever ACC weekend. The weekend gave Pitt its first 2-0 conference start since 2009 as members of the Big East.
Pitt is 6-1 in three-set matches this season. The lone loss came on Aug. 31 against Idaho State. The Panthers are 5-0 in three-setters since then.
When Pitt hit .330 against Clemson and .333 against Georgia Tech last weekend, it was the Panthers' first pair of back-to-back matches at .300 or better this season. The marks were also the team's second- and third-highest percentages of the year.
Maria Genitsaridi led Pitt for the first time in career with 10 kills against Clemson on Sept. 27. The freshman also hit a team-best .562 (10-1-16) against the Tigers.
Pitt is one of five undefeated teams in the ACC after one weekend of play. Also starting 2-0 were No. 11 North Carolina, No. 18 Florida State, Duke and Miami.
Pitt is 8-0 this fall in matches when it outblocks its opponent. The Panthers are just 2-5 when they record fewer total team blocks than their foe.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK:
Kate Yeazel was named the Pitt Athlete of the Week for the second time this season on Monday. While helping the Panthers to a 2-0 ACC start, Yeazel totaled 22 kills (3.67/set) and hit .349. Those stats included 14 kills and a .545 attack percentage against Georgia Tech alone.
SERVING IT UP:
Pitt has served more aces than is opponent in 10 of 15 matches this season. The panthers' single-match high is 13 aces at USF. The Bulls totaled just three aces in that five-set match.
SOLID ACC START:
Pitt has started its conference season 2-0 for the first time since 2009 when it opened Big East play with straight-sets wins over Marquette and Syracuse. The last time the Panthers started 3-0 in conference play was 2008. Pitt went 7-0 during the Big East slate in 1991 and 1993 and opened at 7-0 in 2003 as well.
AGAINST THE ACC SO FAR:
Through two ACC matches, Pitt has posted a .332 attack percentage (91-23-205) and limited opponents to a .200 pace (67-29-190). The Panthers also have 91 kills (15.17/set) and 11 service aces (1.83/set) compared to 67 kills (11.17) and four aces (0.67) for foes.
AT HOME VS. VIRGINIA TECH, VIRGINIA:
When playing at home, Pitt is 2-0 against Virginia Tech and 1-1 opposite Virginia. It has been more than a decade since either squad has played in Pittsburgh, however.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - VIRGINIA TECH:
Virginia Tech comes to Pittsburgh with a 13-3 overall record and a 1-1 mark in the ACC. The Hokies split with Wake Forest and Duke on the road in their first weekend of conference play. After dropping the first set to the Deamon Deacons, Virginia Tech rallied for a 3-1 victory. It then lost in straight sets at Duke.
The 3-0 loss to Duke was Virginia Tech's first of the year in straight sets. The Hokies' only other two losses came against then-No. 14 Michigan State and on the road at Louisville, both by scores of 3-2. Virginia Tech had leads in each of those matches, going up two sets to none against Michigan State and 2-1 at Louisville, before falling.
Virginia Tech went 16-14 overall and 9-11 in the ACC a year ago. It was then selected seventh in the 2013 ACC Preseason Poll, while senior middle blocker Victoria Hamsher was voted to the Preseason All-ACC Team.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT - VIRGINIA:
Virginia heads into the weekend with an 8-6 record overall. It is also 1-1 in the ACC having lost at Duke 3-0 and beaten Wake Forest 3-0 last week.
The Cavaliers' win over the Demon Deacons was their first on the road this fall. Overall Virginia's results have been streaky. After opening the season in August with three straight wins, it then lost five of its next six, then rebounded for another three-match winning streak before going 1-1 against the ACC.
Virginia finished the 2012 campaign at 9-22 overall and 3-17 in the ACC in head coach Dennis Hohenshelt's first season. This summer, the Cavaliers were picked 11th in the ACC Preseason Poll.