Oct. 3, 2012
MILWAUKEE – After a two match home stand, the University of Pittsburgh volleyball team (10-8, 1-3) hits the road for Big East Conference matches at Marquette (12-3, 3-0) and at Syracuse (8-10, 0-3) this weekend, Oct. 5th and 7th.
Including the two upcoming matches this weekend, Pittsburgh will have played 15 of its first 20 contests on the road. After this stretch, the Panthers end the season with seven of their final 10 matches coming at home inside Fitzgerald Field House.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PANTHERS:
The Panthers are in the midst of their toughest scheduling stretch of the season. Louisville and Cincinnati (last week’s opponents), along with Marquette and Syracuse, were all picked to finish in the top five according to the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll (Notre Dame also picked to finish in the top five).
Margy Acton continues to move up the career digs list at Pittsburgh. With 1,188 digs, Acton ranks sixth all-time as a Panther and she needs just 78 more digs to move into fifth place. Acton also continues to be one of the top liberos in the Big East as this week she ranks fourth in digs per set average (5.22).
Freshman Amanda Orchard made the most of her opportunity this past weekend with two solid matches off the bench. Against Cincinnati, she and Alexa Campbell shared a team-high in kills. Against Louisville she tallied three kills, two digs and an ace in two sets of action.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN EAGLES AND THE ORANGE:
Marquette is unbeaten in conference action and is receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 Coaches Poll. The Golden Eagles have a well balanced attacked as Lindsey Gosh, Holly Mertens, Danielle Carlson and Erin Lehman all have over 130 kills. Mertens is the reigning Big East Player of the Week as she led MU to victories against Notre Dame and DePaul last weekend. She recorded a career-high 20 kills and nine blocks against the Fighting Irish.
The Orange is led offensively by newcomer Silvi Uattara, who has a team-high 188 kills (3.48 kills per set). Outside hitters Sam Clarey, Andrea Fisher and Nico Serratore also have over 130 kills on the season. Syracuse, who is second in conference with a 2.4 blocks per set average, is led by Sam Hinz who has a team-best 60 blocks.
First serve between the Panthers and the Golden Eagles is set for 8 p.m. ET on Friday evening. Sunday's match against Syracuse is scheduled for 2 p.m.